Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence—As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—To make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down; the mountains quaked at Your presence. For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isaiah 64:1-4). The Scriptures are replete with examples of God acting in behalf of His people. In the Old Testament, we find Him intervening time and time again in behalf of His chosen people—the Jews. In the New Testament, we find Him acting in behalf of a new race of people—the Church. As I read the accounts of God acting in behalf of His people, the one thing that always strikes me is the experience of God’s presence as He acts. For His people, the experience is always one of awe and protection. For the enemies of His people, the experience is always one of dread.In Isaiah 64:1-4, we find God’s chosen people—the Jews—pleading with the Lord to demonstrate His power as He did in the earlier days of Israel’s history. Their plea is in response to their own assessment of themselves in the last verse of chapter 63: “We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, like those who were not called by Your name.” So they plea for the Lord to “rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence.”
I recently had the experience of living through a magnitude 6.4 earthquake. Everything under and around me was shaking. It was a truly amazing experience; one that I was glad quickly came to an end. It’s no wonder that such events strike fear in many who experience them. And perhaps this is why Israel pleaded for God to act in such a way in their behalf—that they might experience the awe and protection of His presence and that their enemies would experience the dread of His presence. In Psalm 18, David prayed for God to deliver him from the hand of his enemies. David records, “Then the earth shook and quaked; and the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry” (18:7). God responded on David’s behalf in such a way that he was able to write, “He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me…He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:16, 19). God’s sheer power was displayed so dramatically that David experienced the protection of God’s presence while his enemies experienced utter dread and destruction. The manifestations of God’s presence are unique. According to Isaiah 64:4, no one has witnessed the likes of His awesome works on behalf of His own people: “For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” We serve a mighty and awesome God who has promised to be with us and protect us, no matter what—even if such protection involves bringing us safely home to be with Him. In other words, He protects us against our enemies in both life and death. Death, after all, is our greatest enemy. But we need not fear. Christ has already triumphed over the grave!
Whether one is speaking of God’s chosen people—the Jews—or His new race of people—the Church—God acts in behalf of both. Our generation has witnessed Him acting in behalf of the Jews as He has begun bringing them from the four corners of the earth back into their covenant land. He has thwarted every attempt of Israel’s enemies to destroy the Jewish state, striking dread in them when necessary. This in and of itself is overwhelming evidence that the Messiah—the Lord Jesus Christ—will one day soon reign gloriously on David’s throne and over His Kingdom. Furthermore, the evidence is clear that He will one day soon rescue His new race of people—the Church—from His wrath that He is about to pour out on an unbelieving and rebellious world—an event that will surely strike dread in the hearts of those left behind. So the question you must answer is, “Am I ready?” Christ will return for His Church at any moment. That moment may very well be today. If you have not previously done so, receive God’s free gift of forgiveness and eternal life before it is too late. "For thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land’” (Haggai 2:6).
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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