Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her." -JR Miller

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Its Getting Closer

It always seems such a long wait when you are keen for something to happen, and then suddenly it's upon you and time seems to rush by! 
Of course we know that time doesn't go faster or slower, just our perception of it. 

I am thankful and yet amazed that the God we serve is not constrained by time, His timing is perfect and His perception is different than ours.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:8-9)

 I watched men in black 3 recently and there is a character in it who stands on the timeline and can see lots of possible futures, quite a cool concept (yes I do like a bit of sci fi :-0) but it made me think of God, except that God KNOWS what the future holds and what we are going to do and choose and somehow He gets His will done and His plans are accomplished throughout history.

I have been studying Isaiah this year with CBS, and the main thing that comes through is God's Sovereignty. All the while, people think they are making the plans and in charge but yet somehow it is the Lord's will that is accomplished 

Israel's enemies rose up against them, thinking that it was them doing it all and yet it was God's hand in it, He delivered them up to their enemies because of their rebellious ways.

God revealed His plans for the nations - in Isaiah 10, we read about Assyria 

Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
    in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
I send him against a godless nation,
    I dispatch him against a people who anger me,
to seize loot and snatch plunder,
    and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
But this is not what he intends,
    this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
    to put an end to many nations.

And then in Isaiah 14

25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land;
    on my mountains I will trample him down.
His yoke will be taken from my people,
    and his burden removed from their shoulders.

Let me share some of the commentary from my CBS homework - 

God's plan still lies in the future. Currently, Assyria threatens to invade Judah and the surrounding nations. God will use the Assyrians as His instrument to chastise Judah's godlessness. Then, He predicts "I will crush the Assyrian in My land" (14:25) 
PROPHECY FULFILLED: The prophet Jeremiah, who lived about 100 years after Isaiah, saw the Assyrian Empire completely crushed by Babylon in 612 BC God told Jeremiah, "I will punish the king of Babylon and is land as I punished the king of Assyria" (Jeremiah 50:18) The fulfillment of one prophecy provided the basis for Jeremiah's belief in the ultimate fulfillment of another. 

There are numerous more examples in Isaiah of God's prophecies being declared and then being fulfilled - it really is worth studying! 

I have just been so encouraged by studying some of the history of Israel and seeing God's hand so clearly on it all - but I imagine for the people living through it, it wasn't so clear I can see them wondering where God was in it all and what on earth He was doing.  And I think it is the same for us today, in our own lives it is not until "after the event" that we can look back and see that God was in it and had His way all through.

Whatever you may be going through or pondering, however you feel about what is happening in the world, let me encourage you with this verse from Isaiah 

24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
    and as I have purposed, so it will happen.

(Isaiah 14:24) 

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