Thursday, July 4, 2013

Isaiah 66: Our Destiny is Determined by God's Word

Isa 66:1-2 Thus says the Lord: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

Isa 66:22-24 "For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.  From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." ESV

There will be two ultimate destinies for all humankind: those destined to spend eternity with God in the new heavens and the new earth and those destined to be cast into the eternal lake of fire where "their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched." Where we end up will be decided today by our attitude towards the Word of God: "But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word" (66:2). The humble and contrite in spirit are those who tremble at the Word and take it seriously.

There are two manifestations of the Word of God: the Written Word and the Living Word. The first refers to the Scriptures and the second refers to Jesus Christ whose name is the Word of God: "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God" (Rev. 19:13). As Derek Prince observes: "Our attitude towards the Living Word is exactly the same as our attitude towards the Written Word--nothing more and nothing less." If we take the Written Word (Scriptures) seriously, making time to read and study it, this shows our real attitude towards the Living Word (Christ). Reading Scripture is like reading love-letters: our attitude towards these letters reveals our attitude towards the Sender.

The Word of God is "is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:12-13, ESV). Long before we are judged by the Living Word, we would have been judged by the Written Word.

Psalm 1:2-3 tells us that the "blessed man" is the one whose "delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Our commitment towards the Written Word will determine our future destiny among the blessed, rather than among the wicked who "will not stand in the judgment, nor... in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord  knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish" (Ps 1:5-6).

Our future destiny with the Living Word lies in our present decision with regards to the Written Word. Invest in your tomorrow by investigating God's Word today.

Lord, help us to treat Your Written Word like we treat You, the Living Word. May You speak to us through Your Word daily. Amen.

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