Saturday, March 16, 2013

New things

Desert streams
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 43:1-21

TO CHEW ON: "Do not remember the former things
Nor consider the things of old
Behold I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

"A road in the wilderness … rivers in the desert"? Highly unusual. Even impossible?

That's what God is saying here: I can and will do the unusual, the impossible in the process of buying you back—redeeming you.

Israel has lots of impossible already in her history. Isaiah alludes to some of those things.
  • "When you pass through the waters … through the rivers…" the people might recall their miraculous passages through the Red Sea and the Jordan River (Exodus 14:10-30; Joshua 3&4).
  • "I gave Egypt for your ransom…" would remind them of the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt (Exodus 12:13,23-28).
  • "Who brings forth the chariot and horse … they are quenched … extinguished" would bring back the story of the Egyptians coming to reclaim their once-slaves and how they drowned in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:23-30).

Some of the things Isaiah speaks were certainly prophetic to the people of his time.

  • "When you walk through the fire, you shall not burn" reminds us of Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, something that hadn't yet happened when Isaiah wrote these words (Daniel 3:1-25).
  • "Bring My sons from afar, My daughters from the ends of the earth" reminds us of the Jews and their various returns from exile, as lately as Israel now resettling her land after millennia of disbursement.

All that to say, God's program of redemption is not stymied by anything.

I take this as encouragement to keep praying for straying loved ones, the spread of the gospel in my community and country, the fulfillment of God's agenda globally.

And in many ways we see 'impossible' things happening before our eyes. Who would have dreamed, fifteen to twenty years ago, of a system whereby people all over the planet could communicate almost simultaneously (the internet)? Talk about a means of fulfilling Jesus' words in Matthew 24:14 - "And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

I wonder what other new things God still has up His sleeve!

Dear God, You made the world and its systems, so of course nothing is impossible to You. Help me to live in the truth of that. Amen.

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The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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