Tuesday, December 8

Reader: “But in that day, the branch of the Lord . . .”

Response: “will be beautiful and glorious.”  

Scripture: Isaiah 4:2-6

But in that day, the branch of the Lord

    will be beautiful and glorious;

the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory

    of all who survive in Israel.

All who remain in Zion

    will be a holy people—

those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem

    and are recorded among the living.

The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion

    and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains

    with the hot breath of fiery judgment.

Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion

    and all who assemble there.

He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day

    and smoke and flaming fire at night,

    covering the glorious land.

It will be a shelter from daytime heat

    and a hiding place from storms and rain.

Reader: “This is the word of the Lord.”

Response: “Thanks be to God.”

Some thoughts:

This passage is another example of describing the immediate reality which is also a shadow of the ultimate truth. The “branch of the Lord” can refer to the restoration of Israel to its homeland. Remember at this point in Isaiah’s prophecy, Israel is in exile for its rebellion and abandonment of God. But, the “Branch of the Lord” can also refer to the Messiah and his coming reign at the end of the age with this pericope describing the glorious kingdom yet to be. Nature itself will be transformed in incredible beauty and fruitfulness. Holiness and purity will replace filth and rebellion. Those faithful to the Lord will have their names recorded in the Book of Life (Rev.3:5; 20:12). Justice for all the injustices will be paid in full. All of those things that happened on earth when it seemed “they got away with it” will be called into account before God and will receive God’s justice. The Lord will then provide comfort, security, and peace for all the faithful. Note the illusion to God’s continuous protection and provision via the pillar of fire and the cloud in leading and protecting his people in their wilderness journey. What had been an actual event on earth in leading and guiding his people was but a foreshadowing of his ultimate care and provision. A word here about a passage that is sometimes used to reflect on what heaven will be like. It is I Cor. 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Paul is responding to those people who have not understood the gospel and have rejected the ministry of the Holy Spirit which is to show us the mind of God and his wisdom. The passage is not actually talking about heaven, but about receiving truth and seeking the mind of God. There are plenty of other portions of Scripture that give us hints of a heavenly world we cannot imagine, so don’t be discouraged! The music that follows will begin to stretch your mind a bit. Our Lord is glorious and his Kingdom is beyond our imagination! 

Music: “Beneductus”   Karl Jenkins        Beautiful music almost beyond belief!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piap-T4j720        This is worth every minute of your time!

A magnificent picture of the biggest picture of our God at work. The text: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” Can you imagine the glory of the New Creation when God makes all things new?

Prayer: Lord, how excellent are Thy ways and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus’ name. Amen.     ―A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p.47