Thursday, November 14, 2019
After almost 67 years of personal experience with the uncertainty of weather, I still let it dictate my attitude far too often. It bothers me that I complain about what I cannot control, when I could be thankful for what God controls. The sun came up again today. It will set again tonight. The seasons come and go with consistency. The furnace is working. I have shelter from the weather when it changes.
The nation of Israel went through a lot of “weather” changes, if by weather we mean political and spiritual issues. When they obeyed God, He upheld His covenant of blessing with them. When they disobeyed Him, He upheld the consequences stated in the same covenant. God always fulfills His covenants.
In chapter thirty-one of Isaiah, God continues to discipline His people for their rebellion, and also declares the punishment that will fall on the nation of Assyria for rejecting Jehovah. Then in chapter thirty-two God gives a great statement of hope – a King will reign in righteousness.
Isaiah 32:1-2 See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
From a historical perspective, this refers to King Hezekiah, whose reign was one of righteousness and peace. But from a spiritual and prophetic perspective this promise declares the coming of Jesus Christ as King. What joy I find in these words – Jesus is a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the storm, a stream of living water that nourishes and brings life to the desert places, and the rock that provides shade and protection from the scorching sun of sin.
Jesus stabilizes my life when the winds of adversity blow against me. He protects me from the storms of crisis and gives me peace during them. When the thirst of my soul is no longer satisfied with the water of the world and my pursuits have dried up like the sands of the desert, a spring of living water bubbles up from within and satisfies my every longing. And when the stress of life saps my energy like the heat of the noonday sun God invites me into the shade of His presence and I find rest.
Look closely at the passage. God declares that under the righteous reign of Christ, we are to be shelters from the wind for others who are unstable. We are to be a place of refuge and peace for those around us who are being battered by the storms of life. We are to be like streams of fresh and refreshing water for those who are not finding satisfaction from the ways of the world. We are to be the place of shade and rest for those whose strength has been sapped by the scorching sun of sin.
We are the representatives of the righteous King to those living in a weary land. Just as Jesus is our shelter in the time of storm, so are we to be a place of protection for our friends and neighbors when they are being pounded by the winds and waves of adversity.
How I praise God for being my Rock, my Refuge, my shelter. Yet I wonder how well I am representing those things to others around me.
Lord, make me a servant to others, no matter who they are, that they may see your love and the hope of glory in me, and discover the peace in you they deeply desire.