Isaiah 32:1-33:9; Galatians 5:7-12; Psalms 64:1-9; Proverbs 16:26-27
OT: “Indeed, a king will reign righteously, and rulers will rule justly. Each will be like a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the rain, like flowing streams in a dry land and the shade of a massive rock in an arid land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The reckless mind will gain knowledge, and the stammering tongue will speak clearly and fluently. A fool will no longer be called a noble, nor a scoundrel said to be important… Stand up, you complacent women; listen to me. Pay attention to what I say, you overconfident daughters. In a little more than a year you overconfident ones will shudder, for the grapes will fail and the harvest will not come… For the palace will be deserted, the busy city abandoned. The hill and the watchtower will become barren places forever, the joy of wild donkeys, and a pasture for flocks, until the Spirit from on high is poured out on us. Then the desert will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest. Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place, in safe and secure dwellings.” (Isaiah 32:1-5, 9-10, 14-18 CSB)
In the midst of Jerusalem’s rebellion and rejection of God, the Lord allowed Isaiah to have a vision of the future. Though Ahaz was an evil king, there would come a day when a Righteous King would reign. Though the leaders in Jerusalem were unjust, there would come a day when the leaders under the Righteous King would rule justly – like a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the rain, and a flowing stream in the desert. No longer would fools and scoundrels be allowed to assume power and notoriety. The land would be led by good and righteous leaders filled with the wisdom of the Lord.
When God called Isaiah into service in Isaiah 6, part of the message that Isaiah was to bring was that the people could hear, but did not listen… they could look with their eyes, but could not perceive… they had minds but could not understand. During the reign of The Righteous King, the eyes of the blind would be opened, the ears of the deaf would hear and listen, minds that were once reckless would be filled with knowledge, and stammering tongues would be able to speak clearly.
A time was quickly coming when the people of Jerusalem would be given over to oppression and the land would be abandoned. But… one day, God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh. In that day, places that were once barren deserts would become living orchards, and places that were orchards would become so full of life and fruitfulness, they would seem like lush forests. Barrenness and evil would be replaced with justice and righteousness, and all the people – God’s people – would dwell in peace.
God’s Spirit was poured out on “all flesh” on the day of Pentecost. Those who have placed saving faith in Christ now live under the reign of The Righteous King, serve in authority under Him as His ambassadors, and are able to be baptized and filled with His Holy Spirit. The redeemed people of Christ are now light to the world with rivers of living water flowing out of them. As they are in Christ by faith, they are anointed to bring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and liberty to the captives. As they offer themselves to the Lord as living sacrifices, their minds are renewed and they are able to understand and know what the will of God is. Though Christ’s kingdom has not fully come physically to the earth, those who have been redeemed and made righteous through faith in Christ can live spiritually in the not-yet kingdom of God and experience the future that Isaiah envisioned thousands of years ago. Are we living under the rule and reign of The Righteous King? Are we experiencing the fruitfulness of His poured-out Spirit within us? Are we bringing the life-giving message of His gospel to the world as His ambassadors?
NT: “You were running well. Who prevented you from being persuaded regarding the truth? This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough. I myself am persuaded in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.” (Galatians 5:7-10 CSB)
When Paul brought the life-giving message of the gospel to the region of Galatia, many believed Paul’s message and came to faith in Christ Jesus the Righteous King. They began their race of faith well. Along the way, false teachers and Judaizers convinced them that faith was not enough and got them off course and headed away from the glorious finish line. It doesn’t take much to get us off course and headed in the wrong direction. A few degrees off here and there can amount to thousands of miles in the wrong direction over the course of a lifetime. As Paul wrote, a little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough. We can’t afford to compromise with the truth of the gospel. We can’t afford to drift into legalism. We can’t afford to buy into the idea of hyper-grace license. To fully experience and participate in the life-giving rule of the King of Righteousness, we must remain in faith and submitted fully to the King’s word, will and ways.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that as I have been redeemed by You through faith, and as I remain in You by faith, the fullness of Your righteous rule can be a right-now reality in my life. Help me, by Your Holy Spirit, to not allow any “leaven” into my life that would get me off course in the race You have called me to run. If I do allow “leaven” into my life, show me by Your Holy Spirit, that I may repent from it and get back headed in the right direction. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.