Isaiah And An Open Gate

I just finished the book of Isaiah. One word defines this book and that word is zeal. Isaiah is consumed with the wretched state of his own humanity but also the glorious salvation of God. He weeps when God chooses him to be the prophet to a nation. He preaches passionately to the leaders of Israel, leaving no room for doubt as to what God expects of his people. What is it he expects, you ask?

Passionate pursuit.

I have discovered, after years of serving God out of duty and obligation and then moving into this relationship without ritual, that when I am running hard after him, I want to obey, to be set apart. When I began pursuing my God with passion, which wasn't until about three years ago, it was because I finally discovered for myself that he really does love me with complete abandon. Then, he began restoring broken pieces of my very battered heart. The more he restores, the more passionate my pursuit of him becomes.

Isaiah reminds me that God is looking for hearts that will pursue him. This book feels a little like the betrayal of a lover. God expresses his deep distress at Israel's constant betrayal. He has given them everything they have ever needed and yet they throw it all back in his face time and again for the momentary pleasure of sin. It all ends in glory, though, because it all ends with Jesus. Right there, after all the warnings from God, after all the distress, after all the sin...

is the promise of Jesus.

God assures Israel that he will send a Messiah, that he will come down here and fix the mess they've made. He promises forgiveness, restoration, healing, redemption. He promises eternal life. Here's my take away from this book about the passionate pursuit of love:

God makes a way.

How exciting to read this book through the fulfilled prophecy of Jesus! How wonderful to know that God did just what he said he would do. He came down here and got on that cross and fixed the whole mess man had created.

How wonderful....

We do still live in this messed up world. We do still face trial and persecution. We do still have to fight the good fight...but we do it with so much hope. Isaiah is full of hope for God's children. He sees clearly how desperate we are for salvation and how far reaching God's mercy is towards us.

Is there a shameful past He hasn't overcome?

NO.

Is there a broken innocence He can't restore?

NO.

Is there a depraved generation he can't save?

NO.

The Lord almighty says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." (30:15) Repentance for the shamed, rest for the weary, quiet for the chaos and strength for the weakness. Indeed, God overcomes. So, to those who think your shame is to much, your sorrow to great and that you are to weak..

look to the cross.

Jesus came for one reason. He came to pave the road to salvation...with his own blood, his own sweat, his own tears. He has paved the way. Never again will we have to stand at the closed gates of Heaven and wail in sorrow. The gates are open, now. They are open and everyone is welcome.

Come to the gate and let Jesus usher you into the presence of our Creator.

He waits for you.


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