With Compassion

Thursday, July 10, 2014, 7:21 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “He Lifted Our Burdens.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 51:1-16 (NIV).

Justice and Righteousness

“Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.
My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
and wait in hope for my arm.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.
~ Is. 51:4-6​

Jesus Christ is the Light to the nations. He is our righteousness! He is our salvation! He is the Word of instruction which has gone out from God Almighty. He has brought and will bring justice. He died on a cross for our sins that we might be saved. He took upon himself the sins of the entire world. He crucified them with him. By faith we receive this great salvation, forgiveness of our sins, and the hope of eternal life with God in glory. We die with him to the sins which once bound us, and we live with him and walk in his righteousness and holiness by the grace of God and in the power and working of the Spirit within us.

One day soon he will come in judgment upon the earth, and upon the people of the earth. He will judge his wayward church, but not to destroy them, but to revive them. His purpose is to get his adulterous people to return to him as their only Lord and Savior and to forsake their idols. Yet, this is his grace and mercy, too. The arm of the Lord is his strength and his power. An arm is also an extension or a branch. Jesus Christ is that arm; that branch. He is the only hope of Israel, and he is the only hope for this world. All the things of this world will pass away. Only his salvation and his righteousness will endure forever.

Judgment and Mercy

Awake, awake, arm of the Lord,
clothe yourself with strength!
Awake, as in days gone by,
as in generations of old.
Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces,
who pierced that monster through?
Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep,
who made a road in the depths of the sea
so that the redeemed might cross over?
~ Is. 51:9-10​

This is a call for justice to prevail. It is a call to God to act in judgment, yet in mercy, to bring the guilty to justice and to set the oppressed free. It is so hard to see so much injustice going on in this world, so much heartache, so many lives destroyed by sin, so many lies and deceptions, and so many people being manipulated and deceived by master liars. We know judgment means destruction (physically), and we know it means the loss of many lives. We understand it means even greater heartache, in many respects, and so it is not as though we long for it. And, yet, when we see so many of our loved ones captivated by sin’s deceitfulness, and following after lies, and we see this permeating the church of today, our hearts cry out for God to act in order to bring his people back to him.

They Will Return

The Lord will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
~ Is. 51:3

Those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
~ Is. 51:11

The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
nor will they lack bread.
For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord Almighty is his name.
~ Is. 51:14-15​

It is so awesome when we receive good news, even in the midst of suffering and turmoil. God, in his love, mercy, compassion and justice, must bring judgment, and yet once he has done so, he will look with compassion on his loved ones, and he will heal the wounds that he inflicted. He will restore his penitent ones, revive their hearts, and he will bless them. And, because he lifted their burdens of sin, which had overtaken them, they will rejoice.

Do Not Fear

“Hear me, you who know what is right,
you people who have taken my instruction to heart:
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
the worm will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,
my salvation through all generations.”
~ Is. 51:7-8

“I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mere mortals,
human beings who are but grass,
that you forget the Lord your Maker,
who stretches out the heavens
and who lays the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
~ Is. 51:12-13

I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you with the shadow of my hand—
I who set the heavens in place,
who laid the foundations of the earth,
and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
~ Is. 51:16​

In the meanwhile, the church throughout the world is suffering great persecution and death for their testimonies for Jesus Christ, and because they will not deny their Lord and Maker. Many will oppose us when we step out in faith, believing God, and we stand firm on the Word of Truth, and we share the truth of the gospel of our salvation. Satan hates the truth, and he will do everything he can to stop the truth of the gospel from going out. He has servants, too, who will gladly do his bidding, as well.

Yet, we are not to fear Satan or mere mortals. Some will reproach and insult us. Some will even make up lies about us in order to destroy us or to try to discredit us. Many will hate us, despise and reject us, but most will do this out of ignorance. Jesus told us these things would take place. This is how he was treated, although he did nothing wrong. Yet, this should not undo us. We should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the gospel and for the name of Jesus. And, we should keep speaking the words our Lord has placed within our mouths - the gospel of his salvation.

He Lifted Our Burdens / An Original Work / February 15, 2014

Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.