Around 755 BC, the prophet Isaiah began to prophesy about the events that were sure to come concerning Judah and Jerusalem. They had fallen into gross idolatry; refusing to repent and turn back to God. The charge against them is rebellion against the Lord, and the heavens and earth are called as witnesses against them.
All of the people, from the highest to the lowest were compared to Sodom and Gomorrah; they were a sinful nation whose guilt was great, a brood of evildoers, and children given to corruption! They continued to worship God externally through the ceremonies that were established through Moses, but on the inside they were dead, like autumn trees without fruit, useful for nothing, seeking to serve only themselves.
Long after the death of Isaiah, God fulfilled his words; the Babylonian Empire besieged the Southern Kingdom of Judah, completely destroying the temple and removing God’s people from the land. As any good father would reprimand his child for doing wrong, so God would not allow His people to destroy themselves in the indulgences of sin.
Though God’s people went into captivity, He never left them. He was with them the entire time, sending messengers to them as a guide in the midst of their struggle. God, in His great love, would bring them physically and spiritually to a place of dependence upon him.
As the bands of wickedness were loosed, they cried out to God and, in His gracious mercy, He heard them. So God redeemed His people from the Babylonians, setting them free.
Today, if you are in Christ Jesus, take heart, for you have been called by God to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. You are His, and no one can pluck you from His hands.
Yes, you will have to endure many raging storms during this pilgrimage here on earth, and the valleys may seem to be so deep that you cannot even see the sunlight, but remember God is with you. He has set His seal upon you by His Holy Spirit and He is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.
May this Puritan prayer ring loud upon your heart today. “How great are my privileges in Christ Jesus! Without him I stand far off, a stranger, an outcast; in him I draw near and touch his kingly scepter. Without him all is wrath and consuming fire; in him is all love, and the repose of my soul. Without him is gaping hell below me, and eternal anguish; in him its gates are barred to me by his precious blood. Without him darkness spreads its horrors in front; in him an eternity of glory is boundless horizon. Praise be to thee for grace, and for the unspeakable gift of Jesus.”
“O Israel, Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine!” Isaiah 43:1