April 21

Isaiah 9-12, Psalm 111

Ravi Zacharias said, “When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude. Sovereignty is only tyrannical if it is unbounded by goodness; holiness is only terrifying if it is untempered by grace; omniscience is only taunting if it is unaccompanied by mercy; and immutability is only tortuous if there is no guarantee of goodwill.” One of the biggest barriers to entering into a relationship with God is the matter of submitting to His Sovereign Will. Most in society approach Him in an odd manner. When things are going well, most ignore Him and take the credit themselves considering themselves “self-made” men. The minute things go poorly the fingers are pointing at God not understanding how a loving God would do or allow such a thing. This is the paradox of thinking which forms the basis of many lives.

As we continue our reading in Isaiah you can’t miss God’s sovereignty. In His love, He sends famines, enemies, etc. all with the desire to bring us back to Him. Some respond to these valleys in life with humility and a desire to find or come back to God. When looked at this way these valley experiences, though bad for a season, are ultimately for our good. Unfortunately, many respond to these valley experiences with more bitterness, more defiance, more pride. God speaks throughout these passages that when that is one’s response, judgment will eventually come. We will read later in Isaiah 64:8, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Pastor Lloyd in a Wednesday night Bible Study last year also discussed this same concept in reference to 2 Kings 4:1-7 in terms of the empty vessels of the widow during her encounter with the prophet, Elisha. If we will approach life in submission to God with a desire to be used by God, we can indeed be used mightily. But, this requires an emptying of our own will. God’s sovereignty is so wonderful as long as we are willing to give up the reigns of our own life.

On a separate note, it is impossible to miss all of the amazing prophecies concerning both the first and second coming of Jesus throughout the book of Isaiah. Many are familiar with Isaiah 9:6 from Christmas, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” So detailed are these descriptions concerning Jesus that many have called the book of Isaiah “the fifth gospel”.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato