July 1 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 4-6 and Psalms 1
How can there be such a message of hope inserted into such a letter of doom and destruction? Here, in these three chapters of Isaiah, we find one vision of the Messiah, one vision of heaven and one revelation of a prophetic calling sandwiched into an overall message of judgment.
“The Branch” in verse two of chapter four is referring to Jesus and how he will wash away our sin – covering us with the protection of “a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter…”
The vision of heaven found in chapter six verses 1-4 is still one of the most quoted references concerning heavenly activity around the throne of God. “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Finally, in the same chapter (verses 6-9) God calls the prophet into “ministry”. This is the same calling we all experience when we meet Jesus – “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Here, in these verses, we understand that we too are living in a culture that is ripe for destruction. The Lord will certainly judge nations for the incredible sinfulness they allow. Our country has multiplied it’s idols, murdered it’s babies, worshiped at the altar of sexual perversion, called evil “good” and good “evil” – they worship their own ideologies and mock God.
There will be a judgment – but “the Branch” is also alive and well – we too are getting holy visions of God and the throne – and God is still calling an army of believers to share the Good News in all nations (including ours).
My prayer today is for you not to despair concerning the evil around you but that you would lift up your eyes and see the harvest in the midst of all the thorns.
1. Tell about when you first heard the “call of God” in your life. What did you feel Him calling you to?
2. Tell about an experience where you participated in “making disciples of all nations.”