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Today's thought

“Great and amazing”

(June 28)

1 Samuel 9 is about how God gave his people the type of king they desired. The Lord was later to emphasise to Samuel that “the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). For their first king the Lord allowed the people to have a king that was desirable by their standards. “Saul, a handsome young man … From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people” (9:2).

There is a great contrast to this in today’s Isaiah 53. This familiar and heart-moving chapter unfolds to reveal “the arm of the LORD” to discerning readers. Recall how this chapter challenged the thinking of the Ethiopian eunuch and led to his conversion (Acts 8:26-39). How the Ethiopian must have puzzled as he read, “He was despised and rejected” and became “acquainted with grief … and we esteemed him not” (verse 3).

This is the case today – in a different way! The true picture of Christ as revealed in the Gospels is blurred as a result of philosophies about ‘the trinity’ invented in later centuries. Thankfully the original scriptures are readily available today and can and must be absorbed into human thinking and understanding by those who truly desire a real relationship, day after day, with the Saviour which the Father, the Eternal God, has wondrously provided.

We read in verses 10,11, “… it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities”.

Revelation 15,16 dramatically picture the ‘prospering’ his ‘hand’ is to accomplish! Ponder “the song of the Lamb” in 15:3,4: the words are, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed”.

These are “revealed” after the events we read at the end of chapter 14, our godless world will not find them so: indeed the very opposite! How awesome to imagine “the great winepress of the wrath of God”. How much does our world deserve this wrath! Thankfully this will be followed by “great and amazing” deeds, causing “all nations (to) come and worship”! Let us be aware of who will be counted faithful believers! They are those “who stay(s) awake, keeping (their) garments on” (16:15). May it be that many, of both spiritual and natural Jews, “put on … beautiful garments” – as we read yesterday in Isaiah 52:1. What a “great and amazing” experience awaits them.

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