Reading through the Bible together

Friday, February 28, 2014

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Isaiah 4:1 is the conclusion of the theme started in chapter 3.  The tragedy of Judah not trusting in God resulted in war.  With the loss of men in battle, the self-absorbed women in Jerusalem (unlike the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31) competed with each other for marriage with surviving men. They superstitiously believed that it was a divine curse to be childless.  Instead of trusting God and patiently waiting for His will and His timing, they were willing to compromise for a carnal human solution. 

In the midst of a message of doom, Isaiah lifts anxious hearts to see in the future a small remnant of survivors that would be “called holy” (v.3).  Today, as a faithless world hurtles toward self-destruction, those who see Jesus as “the branch of the Lord” (v.2), and accept Him as their personal Savior, will experience the fulfillment of these Messianic promises. The everlasting gospel mentioned in Revelation 14:6 has no national boundaries.

We cherish the memory of participating in a communion service, several years ago, at Rusangu Mission, near Monze, Zambia, Africa.  We had the foot washing service outside in the warm sunshine.  The small communion cups and the tray that held them were hand crafted from wood.  We felt humbled to be with such dedicated Adventist pastors, knowing that for most of them the only means of transportation was walking.  Those more fortunate owned a bicycle or had access to public transportation.  The glue that binds all our hearts together is the hope found in Jesus. 

In the end-time ministry of Jesus in heaven’s sanctuary we are offered to have our “filth” and our sins “washed away” (v.4).  Someday, delivered from the captivity of sin, we are promised safe “dwelling places” (v.5), or, as John 14:1-3 says, “mansions.”  As we journey to the heavenly Canaan, Jesus will be our “place of refuge” in every time of “storm” (v.6), just as promised in Psalms 91 and 46.  What a blessed hope!

Prayer: “Thank you Lord for giving to us Your great salvation so rich and free. Whatever the future holds, enable us, by Your grace, to be faithful to You. Amen.”

Lloyd and Sheila Schomburg
Pastoral couple
Kentucky-Tennessee Conference