Thursday, February 03, 2011
Today’s Topic: Fear is the Key
Today’s Text: Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
Have you ever felt like even when you try to do right you can’t get past the consequences of your past? Frustrating, isn’t it? Our past has a way of catching up with us, and when it does it usually overpowers us.
That was the story of the nation of Assyria. They were a treacherous nation that was despised by the other nations of the world. They not only conquered lands, but terrorized people. They were brutal in their tactics. But it was going to catch up to them.
The day would come when Assyria would try to relax and enjoy the fruit of their conquering. But what they had done to others would be returned unto them no matter how much they announced that their terrorist days were done.
Isaiah is praying that the day would come when the attacks would stop and be reversed. He knows that because of their sin the nation of Israel has deserved the punishment that has been inflicted upon them by the Assyrians. He also knows that their past will overwhelm them and that they have no power to stop it. So he cries out to the LORD YHWH and says, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
One quick connecting point before we move on – when your past catches up with you, humble yourself and cry out to God. You cannot stop the consequences of your sin. Only Jesus can. His mercy and grace are the only thing that can give you the victory over the past. He is your strength and salvation in time of distress.
Then, after Isaiah asks for grace from the Lord, in a model of prayer for us all when we are in need, begins to proclaim the promises of God and declare the Lord’s attributes. He begins, in faith, to announce what He knows will happen, and that knowledge is based on who he knows God to be. This is what Isaiah said, and can be a model to us all as we pray and declare the glory of the Lord:
- There is no one greater than the Lord – At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter. (verse 3)
- The Lord will restore us and bless us – Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts; like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it. (verse 4)
- The Lord will be exalted in the land and bring peace – The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. (verse 5)
- The Lord is faithful and can be trusted – He will be the sure foundation for your times, (verse 6a)
- The Lord will provided everything we need – a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; (verse 6b)
Then Isaiah says one more thing. He gives us the key to victory over our past and the blessings of the future. He says, the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. The fear of the Lord can easily be defined this way:
Father Exalted And Revered.
So that leads us to these questions –
- “In my life, is the Father exalted and revered?”
- “Do I believe that I can deliver myself?”
- “Am I expecting God to deliver me from my past and my sin based on my own merit or on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross?”
- “Do I expect God to bless me and believe I deserve it, or do I fear God and trust Him with every part of my life regardless of the blessings promised, just because He is worthy?”
O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.