Thursday, November 14, 2013

It Seemed Like a Good Idea

Isaiah 42:4 (NKJV)
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

When we are tempted to grow discouraged with the state of the world and the current condition of Christianity in Western Society, it is helpful to remember the Servant Songs of Isaiah. Here in these songs, God revealed millennia ago the calling of our Lord Jesus Christ – a calling which Jesus self-consciously fulfilled in his earthly ministry. Having fulfilled the calling of the songs to suffer, Jesus is now, as the Ascended and Exalted Messiah, fulfilling their call to rule and reign.

So what shall be the nature of His reign? As Jesus spreads His influence throughout the world, what will be the result? The result will be, according to our text, the spread of true justice and liberating law. Jesus as the Word of God made flesh will cause His Word to prevail in the earth and for justice founded on His law to triumph.

So what are we to think when we witness times of setback? What are we to think when the cause of justice, so strenuously established over hundreds of years, is in the course of just a few decades undermined and in many cases destroyed? Is this cause for despair? Should we perhaps rethink whether our Lord and Savior Jesus means to establish justice in the earth?

Here the Servant Songs come again to our aid. Notice the promise in our text: He will not fail nor grow discouraged until he has established justice in the earth and the coastlands shall wait for His law. Jesus is not discouraged. God is not looking down at the world and declaring, Well it sure seemed like a good idea at the time. God is in control; He has seated Jesus at His right hand where He rules and reigns over the earth. No one can thwart Him or say to Him, “What have you done?” For he does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the nations of the earth.

Isaiah’s promise reminds us of the lessons Jesus endeavored to teach during his lifetime. What is the nature of the kingdom of God? It is like a mustard seed which starts as the smallest of all seeds but when it is planted gradually grows until it becomes a great tree in which the birds of the air make their nests. To what shall we compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman hid in a lump of dough until the entire lump was leavened.

The task of preaching and spreading the kingdom of God is not an easy task; throughout church history there have been times of great success and there have been times of abysmal failure. At the moment in Western society we are in the midst of a largescale apostasy. But Jesus is not discouraged; He knows precisely what He is doing and His calling to us is to be faithful to Him – to preach the Gospel, to teach the Word of God, and to worship the Living God.

So reminded that we are not to grow discouraged but instead to trust in the Sovereign pleasure of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, let us kneel and confess that we have often failed to look to Him in faith.