Isaiah 12: 1—14: 32
Do you ever look around at all the killing and oppression of the weak and wonder, “Will they ever have to pay for what they have done? Or do evil people just get away with everything?” I think it is so important for people who have been victims to know that God will judge the wicked for what they have done. I was just reminded this morning while reading Isaiah that our God will call all those evils that were done against you to mind when He judges the wicked. That is why He says that vengeance belongs to Him. It is not for us to punish the wicked, the Lord will do it and He will do it perfectly.
There is a section break here in the book of Isaiah. We read the final verses about the ultimate regathering of Israel and then we turn to the topic of judgement of the nations that are wicked. God has used their desire to oppress Israel to exact discipline on Israel but ultimately, they will be judged for oppressing God’s people. Remember God promised Abraham that whoever curses him will be curse. God will fulfill that promise. Chapters 13 and 14 are mixed with near and far predictions to validate this message. Some of the judgement would happen soon and some would happen in “The Day of The Lord,” aka—the end times. The faithful few in Isaiah’s time would have read this and then watched the prophecies unfold before them. They would have KNOWN this was all true because they would have watched the near predictions get checked off one by one. God’s word is true, of that we can be sure.
2 Corinthians 13: 1-14
I was struck by the end of this letter today. Paul tells them to test their faith. I see that as asking them, “Is this the faith you really want?” Do you really want Jesus? Because if you do you have to start lining up what you are believing with what He says is true. This is the human conundrum isn’t it? We say we want Jesus but then end up putting our faith in things that sound good to us. If you want genuine faith you have to fight yourself for it. Your flesh will always want what the fly-by-night-salesman offer—quick fix, glory, power, health, comfort. That is not what Jesus is offering you. When you choose Jesus you are promised eternal security, adoption into God’s family, power to overcome sin, suffering and fruit of the Spirit—peace, joy, patience, gentleness and self-control. Paul tells them (and us) to test themselves, find out if this is the faith you want. Because if you choose Jesus you get all of Him. You don’t get to pick and choose what you want.