Focus on the Lord of hosts for hope

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Isaiah 51

12   “I, even I, am He who comforts you.

Who are you that you should be afraid

Of a man who will die,

And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?

13   And you forget the Lord your Maker,

Who stretched out the heavens

And laid the foundations of the earth;

You have feared continually every day

Because of the fury of the oppressor,

When he has prepared to destroy.

And where is the fury of the oppressor?

14   The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,

That he should not die in the pit,

And that his bread should not fail.

15   But I am the Lord your God,

Who divided the sea whose waves roared—

The Lord of hosts is His name.

When Israel was in exile they questioned whether God was God and whether or not God was able to help them out of their trouble.  It was their rejection of God that got them in trouble in the first place.  God called to them over and over and they refused to listen to Him, change their ways, and live in righteousness.  Now, they are facing the judgment for their sin and are wondering if God is there.

Because God is God and because God has never stopped listening to His people, even in the midst of His judgment for their sins, God is there and God is offering to them words of comfort.  The comfort of God comes in the form of a reminder of who He is. God is eternal while every oppressor is going to die.  God stretched out the heavens, that is, He created all things, and Israel wondered if He were powerful enough to get them back to the Promised Land.  The people of God could only focus on the strength of their captor and their condition as captives while God reminded them that He opened the waters of the Red Sea and He by His power brought their fathers out of Egypt; He alone is the Lord of hosts.

My friends, we have been taught to think on things that are true.  (Philippians 4:8)  Whenever we allow false thoughts about God to infiltrate our minds we are headed to a dangerous place.  Whatever our condition, whomever is in control of us, however dark our circumstances seem, God is over them all and He is still powerful enough, wise enough, and loving enough to bring us through.   How confident are you in God?  Do you see Him high enough, strong enough, and loving enough to bring you to Himself in His time?  We must take from Isaiah true thoughts about the Lord of hosts, the God of our salvation, and make Him in all of His attributes our focus and our hope.

As I pondered the 4th of July I took time to pray for our country.  Morally, America is in a bad place and is headed in a bad direction.  Our country needs a revival of righteousness, conviction of sin, and a turning to God.  We who love the Lord and His righteousness are the bad guys, the haters.  Take time to pray for our country and beg God to bring a Holy Spirit sent revival to shake up our United States.  We have met Sunday and Tuesday night at church for a special prayer emphasis and will meet again tonight, Thursday and Friday nights for a special prayer emphasis asking God to empower our witness in our community.

Tonight is our regularly scheduled time of Bible study, prayer, Kids club, and youth group. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

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