Daily Reading: January 5th

#DailyDevotion Tired of this world? Trust in Jesus for a better new world.

January 5th

Read Is 65:8–25

Isa 65:15 You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord GOD will put you to death, but his servants he will call by another name…17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. (18) But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. (19) I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress…24 Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. (25) The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the LORD.

Indeed because of the sins of Israel and Judah, their names have become a curse upon the earth. Calling someone a Jew is still considered to be an insult. So God, though preserving for himself a remnant of Abraham’s race, calls his servants by another name, Christians. The name of the Holy One of Israel, Jesus, the Christ is the name by which God’s people are now name and called. Made of both Jew and Gentile, one holy Israel in the One who is Israel, Jesus. All who are baptized into his name and have faith in his blood are God’s holy people.

For such a people God promises a new beginning. A new heavens and a new earth for the people of God, all those who confess Jesus Christ as the God who rescued Israel from the Egyptians and who now rescues us from sin, death and the power of the devil. This new world the Lord is bringing us into will no longer bear the curse and neither will we. For even as creation is renewed in its redemption, so too, all who have faith in Jesus will have new immortal, imperishable, glorious, sinless bodies like our Savior Jesus Christ.

In the new creation, there will be no more crying, pain, suffering or death because sin is no more. Even the animals are renewed and restored to the time in the beginning with the wolf and lamb grazing together. The mighty lion will no longer be eating antelopes but straw like an ox. So wonderful will this new creation that this world will quickly be forgotten. It will no longer come to mind because of the beauty and awesomeness of it all. Indeed we shall see God and be like him. That which God had begun in the beginning will be complete at that time. Jesus shall be our king and no longer will politics push and pull upon us vying for our devotion and attention. Jesus shall rule all men’s hearts and we shall all dwell together in peace, a peace that is eternal that no other man or government can accomplish.

It will be as it is written, Revelation 21:3-5 …”Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (5) And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Amen. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

Daily Reading: January 4th

#DailyDevotion In Christ Jesus, we have a Father in heaven.

January 4th

Read Is 63:15—65:2

Isaiah 63:16-17 For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. (17) O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage…64:4 From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him…6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away…8 But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (9) Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people…65:1 I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here am I, here am I,” to a nation that was not called by my name.

While Christians regularly address God as Father, following the example and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is not an appellation given to God in the Old Testament often. This is one of those few passages. The people of Israel and Judah have so fallen away from the true worship of God they can say that Abraham and Israel neither know nor recognize them. They accuse God, who is rightly their Father in the faith of making them wander from His ways and hardening their hearts. Perhaps the charge is true to a point. God did make them wander and harden their hearts, but only because they wandered first and hardened their hearts first against their Father, their Redeemer from of old by casting golden calves as images of the Almighty in northern and southern Israel. They went and started worshiping the false gods of their neighbors and following their detestable worship practices which were followed by further acts of debauchery and cruelty in their daily lives. The Lord God, their Father simply confirmed them in their errors and let them reap what they have sown.

Let us not follow their path. As we look to January 6th, Epiphany, Gentile Christmas, we remember chapter 65 verse 1, we are those who did not ask for the Father. We are those who did not seek the Redeemer. We are those nations not called by His Name. But now in Christ Jesus the Father of lights has given us birth through the waters of Holy Baptism into the Son, Jesus. Now we are a holy people. Now we are called by His name, Christian. Let us remember the example of the people whom our Father rescued from the hands of the Egyptians and not follow their path but instead as 64:4 says wait for the salvation of our God, Jesus Christ with all patience and perseverance. Don’t go and run off to other gods, other things, other ideas, philosophies, religions and other debauchery because you cannot wait for God to act. You have a Father in heaven who does love you, who treats you as a son (Heb. 12) and who will save and deliver you from your truest enemies, sin, death and the power of the devil. Nothing else matters.

O Lord our God, you deign to call us your children in Christ Jesus and invite us, bid us to call you our Father. Ever give us your Holy Spirit that we may be faithful to you as much as you have been faithful to us in your only begotten son, Jesus, that we may never be confirmed in the hardness of our hearts but always be called back to repentance until the day we see your salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Reading: January 3rd

#DailyDevotion Will you experience God’s wrath or redemption on the day of the Lord Jesus?

January 3rd

Read Is 63:1–14

Isaiah 63:3-7 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. (4) For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. (5) I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. (6) I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” (7) I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.

We see here God’s wrath and His redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Jesus is not some soft, cute, lovable puffball. He is God Almighty, great to save and great is his wrath. Isaiah here sees pictures of the last day as seen by John’s Revelation chapter nineteen. It is a day of judgment where all the world who rejected him as their Savior, who would not repent of their sins and look to him alone as their Redeemer, will get the only other type of God that is left, a vengeful God. On that day, all the people, great and small, young and old will be wipe out and Jesus will stomp them out like grapes in a wine press. They will all drink the wine of his wrath and enter perdition where they will suffer for all eternity. Not a pretty sight.

Yet there is the year of redemption. For by his own arm Jesus has won salvation. By the shedding of his own blood, he has made atonement for all the people of the world. On the cross, Jesus has suffered the wrath of God and made peace between God and men. Yet many people will not accept this peace. But for those who do believe, they shall experience the steadfast love of the Lord. God does not want mankind to suffer but they spurn His great love. On that day, all of us who have been called by God to be His holy people by being baptized in Jesus will experience that love for all eternity.

We shall praise the Lord Jesus Christ on that day and we shall experience his praise for trusting in him. You may remember earlier in Isaiah, the Lord will be singing over us. Our reward shall be a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness reigns. We, ourselves, will be totally regenerated no longer having the effects of a sinful flesh tormenting us. We will be like Jesus resurrected on the third day, bodily. The universe will be right and we will be righteous. Jesus even now pours out his compassion upon us by his blood by quieting our consciences as we confess our sins and here the words of absolution. On that day we shall see his compassion with our own eyes in our own flesh. So what will we experience on that day? His wrath or redemption? Trust in the one of died for you and receive Jesus’ salvation.

Lord God, Heavenly Father, your Holiness demands retribution for all those who sinned against you, yet your great compassion sent your Son Jesus Christ to receive your wrath in his own flesh and soul, that we might be saved. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may believe this and always experience your steadfast love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Reading: January 2nd

#DailyDevotion The Church like her Lord cannot keep quiet.

January 2nd

Read Is 62:1–12

Isa 62:1-5 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. (2) The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. (3) You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. (4) You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.

In the first verse the Lord says that he will not keep silent nor will he be quiet until Zion’s, God’s holy people, righteousness goes forth as brightness and her salvation as burning torch. The Lord Jesus Christ is determined and he cannot fail to have his word go forth unto the earth, proclaiming his salvation for all peoples.

He looks upon his Church as his bride. Paul says as much in Eph. 5. Jesus continually in his preaching speaks to the kingdom of God and its coming as a wedding banquet. You who are in Christ Jesus are his bride. But not only are you called to be his bride. Jesus has come to draw all unto himself. He made atonement for the whole world. He has reconciled the world to his Father.

True, once you were Forsaken, once you were Desolate, but now in Christ Jesus you are His Delight and Married. You have been stolen away from the evil one, rescued from his hand being delivered by the nails piercing through the hands of Jesus. Now Jesus and the Father rejoice over you for you are his precious possession.

And now even as the Lord would not keep quiet, neither shall his watchmen or his Church. Day and night pastors all over the world proclaim Jesus’ salvation, a salvation that is for all people, which is free and true and eternal. And we who remember what Jesus did and does for us, we cannot be quiet. We cannot rest. We must watch, pray and share the good news with those around us until our Bridegroom comes, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus Christ, help us ever to keep you in remembrance that we may endue and not take rest but continually watch for your coming. Amen.

Daily Reading: January 1st

#DailyDevotion On this 1st day of our year, let it be the year of the Lord’s favor upon you.

January 1st

Read Is 61:1–11

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; (3) to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

The opening verses Jesus in his first sermon at Nazareth reads and then proclaims that he has fulfilled it. Everyone marveled at his words. Then they decided to kill him. Why? Because they did not believe him. Yet Jesus in his earthly ministry did indeed do all these things. He proclaimed the good news, bound up brokenhearted, gave liberty to those who were captive to their sins and at his death open the gates of heaven to those bound in Hades. His death and resurrection brought upon the year of the Lord’s favor.

Today Jesus still does these things through his priest, i.e. all his disciples who proclaim the excellencies of him to a fallen world in their daily vocations, of all Jesus has done for them. Jesus does it through all his pastors who faithfully teach and preach what Jesus has done for the world. Jesus does it through the Word and Sacraments he exercises through his pastors.

So now, through his people and his pastors, with the Word and Sacraments, Jesus adorns us with a beautiful headdress called faith, the oil of gladness who is the Holy Spirit, the garment of praise which is his righteousness. We who have put our faith in Jesus because of these things while we look broken to the world are instead oak of righteousness through whom our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is glorified.

On this day of Jesus’ naming and circumcision we greatly rejoice in the Lord and exalt in Jesus who is our God. Through his first spilling of blood this day, he began to fulfill all righteousness for all mankind. In us, Jesus is causing righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations who do not acknowledge Jesus as their King. This new year, will Jesus be your King? Will Jesus be allowed to give you his righteousness? Will you allow the brokenness of his cross bind up the wounds of your soul and grant you peace, joy, and courage in the face of all obstacles? Will you let him turn your sorrow over you guilt and shame into joy and gladness? Jesus is here in his Church, his people and he can and will do it through his Word and Sacraments.

Lord Jesus Christ, on this day you first spilt blood that we may obtain your righteousness, grant us such faith in you that our souls are indeed bound and we are set free from the guilt and shame of our sins, that we may bear your righteousness and covered with the oil of gladness. Amen.

Daily Readings: December 31st

#DailyDevotion Jesus is the light and glory of the Lord.

December 31st

Read Is 60:1–22

Isa 60:1-9 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (2) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. (3) And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising… (6) A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD… (9) For the coastlands shall hope for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from afar, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has made you beautiful.

This lesson is often read at Epiphany, when the magi from East come and visit the infant Jesus. It depicts a time past for us now, a present reality and a future reality. The time past is the incarnation of the Word of God, Jesus and his visitation by the Magi who came to him on camels (how do you travel out there then?) with treasure fit for a king. The world was in darkness but the Light of the world arose and his glory shown in the sky as the angels proclaimed his birth.

The time now is the nations who continually stream to the Lord our God, Jesus Christ. Through the proclamation of the good news, Jesus has brought peace between God and man by his death and resurrection, people from all nations, languages, tongues and tribes are coming to Zion, the holy City of our God, the Church. You and I are part of this present reality as we become part of Zion, living stones and pillars in the City of the Living God.

We still look forward as God’s people when, Isa 60:17-21 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will make your overseers peace and your taskmasters righteousness. (18) Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. (19) The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. (20) Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. (21) Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.”

Oh Lord our God, Heavenly Father, send forth your ministers upon the face of the earth to gather your people from the nations that they may inherit your Zion, your City, the place of your peace when you send your Son Jesus Christ, a second time to the earth. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 30th

#DailyDevotion Are your sins hindering your prayers?

Dec. 30th

Read Is 58:1—59:3, 14–21

Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; (2) but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (3) For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness… (20) “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD. (21) “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”

Sometimes we may wonder why our prayers don’t get answered. Believe it or not, sometimes the fault is ours. God does not hear our prayers because they are not prayers. A prayer must have faith in Jesus for it to be a prayer. Our sins and iniquities place a barrier between us and God our Father. Our lips are speaking lies and uttering wickedness. We are simply mumbling fanciful wishes to a God we do not trust.

But God does not want to leave us there. He wants to receive our prayers and answer them. So the Father sends to us an intercessor. Jesus the Son of God, becomes flesh and in that flesh removes from us our sins and our iniquities. He gives us the Holy Spirit that we might speak blessings and intercede for others rather than using them to curse and speak wickedness.

Jesus has put on righteousness as a breastplate and the helmet of salvation and in his zeal won salvation for us. He has defeated our enemies: sin, death and the devil. Jesus has made his covenant with us with his very own body and blood and has us participate in that in his Supper. With this Supper he affirms his covenant and puts his words in our mouth and upon our lips that our prayers may be heard. His Spirit intercedes for us with groaning to deep for words. Indeed, Christ Jesus himself intercedes for us at the right hand of God.

Because of this we shall fear the name of the Lord and glorify in Jesus’ name from East to West forevermore. His name we place before the Father so he will not look at our sins, our guilt, our shame, our wickedness or our iniquities. Instead, the Father will only see the righteousness of Jesus when we pray. It will be the voice of his Son and his Spirit when we open our mouths. Then the prayers which we utter will not be sin but the praise and glory of the name of Jesus and they will be heard.

Lord Jesus Christ, ever give us your Holy Spirit so that when we pray, we may pray the prayer of faith and be heard by your Father in heaven. Amen.

Daily Reading: December 29th

#DailyDevotion Eternal Life is having an end of year sale.

December 29th

Read Is 55:1–13

Isaiah 55:1-7 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2) Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. (3) Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. (4) Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. (5) Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. (6) “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; (7) let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

What a deal! Is this not the good news of Jesus Christ in a nutshell? Free water, free food, free wine and your soul living, free, free, free, grace upon grace, favor upon favor, that is good news in Jesus Christ. Revelation says the same thing doesn’t it? Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” And Revelation 22:1-2 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (2) through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

God your Father is calling to you to come to Him through Jesus. Jesus is the everlasting covenant God has made with you and all people. Jesus is the sure love for David. Jesus is the witness to the peoples. Matthew 26:27-28 “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, (28) for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” And Hebrews 7:22 “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” What kind of covenant? Jeremiah 31:33-34 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Therefore seek the Lord where he may be found? Where is that? Where his people gather around his Word and receive his new covenant, his body and blood. There is coming a day when you will not be able to do this. And now, believing you have full pardon for your sins, turn away from you old, wicked ways and thoughts. God is plenteous in redemption. He only wants to forgive you and have you be part of His people. You will be glorified in Him.

Lord God, Heavenly Father, your ways and thoughts are not ours, you forgive freely those who do not know and do not seek you, by spilling the blood and giving his body into death. Grant us the gift of repentance that we may seek you out and receive abundant pardon and grace. Amen

Daily Reading: December 28th

#DailyDevotion Jesus fulfills the Scriptures

December 28th

Read Is 52:13—54:10

Isa 52:13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.

Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Isa 52:15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

Mat 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Heb 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Isa 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Mar 15:19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.

Isa 53:4-5 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Mat 8:16 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 1Jn 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

Mar 15:5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

O Lord God, Heavenly Father, you portrayed for us the work and death of Jesus, grant us faith to believe in Christ who completed this work that we may be the children of the barren one at his second coming. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Daily Reading: December 27th

#DailyDevotion Who will plead your case before God? Jesus represents all who trust in Him

December 27th

Read Is 51:17—52:12

Isa 51:22-23 Thus says your Lord, the LORD, your God who pleads the cause of his people: “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more; (23) and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over.” Isa 52:1Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. (2) Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. (3) For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.”…7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

The Israelites who have run after other gods were under the wrathful hand of God. He had sent the Assyrians to pour out his wrath upon them. While they may have thought the Assyrians were their enemies they indeed had a more formidable foe. Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. It is these forces which deceived the Israelites and the Jews to fall away and rebel against the Lord their God.

They are indeed the foes of all mankind. They pit man against man and man against God. They torment people day and night by driving us away from our Creator and turning us to serve things, people, wealth, sex, drugs, idols and the imagination of our hearts. Such things do not give us life but take it away from us. They drive wedges between our love for our fellow man and from the love of God. The Lord God, our Lord Jesus Christ, will ultimately defeat these our enemies and cast them into the Lake of Fire where they shall be tormented day and night even as they have tormented us.

God has taken away the wrath laying upon us. He has redeemed us from the life we used to have and those who sought us nothing but harm. Our Father in heaven has seen our poor estate and sent His Son, to bear the wrath for us as he cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” Jesus has redeemed us with his blood and bought us to be his own people and to be delivered from all those false gods that used to enslave us.

Therefore, awake and put on your strength. That strength is the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. It delivers us from bondage to sin. Put on the beautiful garments of the righteousness of Jesus who gives it to us freely so we not be naked and ashamed before our heavenly Father. Shake off the dust of your past, for God will no longer remember your sins but forget them for all time, they have been washed away by the blood of Christ. Peace has been made between you and God. Salvation has been procured for by Jesus. Live in the joy of the Lord. Christ has come to reign in your hearts.

Lord Jesus Christ, ever reigns in our hearts by faith that we may live in your peace. Amen.