Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prophecies from Isaiah: Beauty from Ashes

Hello all,

Since we are unable to post more time consuming and topical posts at this time we are simply getting back to the real fundamentals of our faith...the words of Scripture.

Why don't we do this more often? I don't know actually. Perhaps we should be posting "plain" scriptures more often so as not to stray from God's Word to our human wisdom. At any rate, here is one of the most clear and best known prophecies of Christ's coming from the Old Testament:

10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!”
13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. (Isaiah 7:10-16, New King James Version)

The prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 is startling beautiful but appropriately set in a less than beautiful context. Why is that appropriate? Because it accurately reflects the affect of Christ's coming...the ashes of our sinful state...the beauty of the fulfillment of the law...the coming of the Rose of Sharon.

 1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
      Because the LORD has anointed Me
      To preach good tidings to the poor;
      He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
      To proclaim liberty to the captives,
      And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
       2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
      And the day of vengeance of our God;
      To comfort all who mourn,
       3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
      To give them beauty for ashes,
      The oil of joy for mourning,
      The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
      That they may be called trees of righteousness,
      The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
       4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
      They shall raise up the former desolations,
      And they shall repair the ruined cities,
      The desolations of many generations.
       5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
      And the sons of the foreigner
      Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
       6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD,
      They shall call you the servants of our God.
      You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
      And in their glory you shall boast.
       7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
      And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
      Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
      Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
       8 “ For I, the LORD, love justice;
      I hate robbery for burnt offering;
      I will direct their work in truth,
      And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
       9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
      And their offspring among the people.
      All who see them shall acknowledge them,
      That they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.”
       10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
      My soul shall be joyful in my God;
      For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
      He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
      As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
      And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
       11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
      As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
      So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61, New King James Version)

I would strongly encourage each of you to read all of the above chapters and to meditate on them. They are rich scriptures!

God bless!

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