The words of the Messiah now begin to focus on Jesus’ time here on earth and what he accomplished. Isaiah 35:5-6a gives us a glimpse of the future of the babe that came that Christmas night.
“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.”
This prophecy appears in a chapter subtitled Joy of the Redeemed. These actions prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth speak of the people who encountered Jesus. They would see, hear, jump and shout for joy after their meeting with Jesus. This was fulfilled and recorded in the gospels. Matthew 15:31 “The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” The direct fulfillment was in Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.”
This prophecy of visible change either mentally or physically or both can also apply to us. When we have an encounter with Jesus our eyes are opened to His truth and we can hear and believe the gospel message. Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” When we hear and believe, we are transformed and our reaction is like those who saw Jesus. We shout His praises, leap for joy and see the reality of His truth. Ephesians 1:13-14 describes our transformation. “ And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” His indwelling Holy Spirit brings joy, peace, knowledge, wisdom, hope, and so much more into our lives when we accept Jesus as our Savior. I have a needle point on my wall reminding me of the truth of what I have in Christ. Psalm 107:1-2 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.”
May your day reflect His joy and may you shout out His praises. Let others know of your joy in the Savior that redeemed you.
Sorry no audio of these verses in the Messiah was available on the Internet.
Isaiah 7:14 is one of the most beautiful prophecy’s about the birth of Jesus. Isaiah gave this prophecy during the reign of wicked King Ahaz. He had paid Assyrians to induce them to attack Syria. King Ahaz had put his faith and trust in men instead of calling upon God for defense. Isaiah invited Ahaz to request a sign of faith from God, but Ahaz in his stubbornness refused. God then address the whole house of Israel with this prophecy of the coming Messiah, their true hope, and sign from Almighty God that He would provide deliverance. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
God is amazing as 400 years later this came to pass just as He said. Matthew 1:19-25 gives us the account of the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, and telling him not to fear taking Mary as his wife. The child she is carrying will be called Jesus, Immanuel, meaning ‘God with us’ and was conceived by God the Holy Spirit. “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
An angel also appeared to Mary and told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33
What amazes you today about this prophecy and drama as it unfolded? I love the specific details of young Mary and the baby. Jesus, God with us, truly came to save us from our sins just as the angel said He would. The odds of this happening just this way in exactly the way God said it would affirms God’s sovereignty, omniscience, wisdom and power. How can all this be we ask along with Mary? The angel had it right in verse 37 “ For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Praise Him and give Him your impossible today!
Two new names of God appear in Deuteronomy 33:29, Glorious Sword and Shield. “Blessed are you, Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will tread on their heights.” Moses concludes his blessings to each tribe with this overall statement of the blessed position the children of Israel had since the Lord was with them, fighting for them and protecting them. As believers, we belong in God’s family today and have God as our protector, defender and shield.
The image of God having or wielding as sword is seen throughout scripture. David refers to God’s sword in Psalm 17:13 “Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
with your sword rescue me from the wicked.” David knew that God would defend him and calls upon God to use His sword in action. In Isaiah 66:16 God is shown to be the avenger and judge at the end of time. “For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment on all people, and many will be those slain by the Lord.” Jesus himself adds to this image as he explains his mission was one that would result in divisiveness between those that believe and those that do not. Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Later, the apostles described the power of God’s Word to be like a sword. Ephesians 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We are to go into battle with God’s sword-the Word of God as our offensive weapon. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s sword can cut through anything physically or spiritually. Lastly, in the book of Revelation the image of God’s glorious sword is in the mouth of Jesus combining both images of a physical sword and a sword of the Words of God. Revelation 1:16 “In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” Revelation 19:15 describes Jesus as an avenger and judge for Holy God’s honor and hatred of sin, “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.“
How can God’s glorious sword help or comfort us today? God promises to listen and hear our prayers. We can call upon God to be our protector and defender just like David. We can rest in the knowledge that God will avenge wrongs done to us and will judge all evil in the future. We can take God’s glorious sword ourselves and use the power of His Word to conquer unbelief in those around us. God’s Sword will divide, discern and always be victorious. We can hope in a future where God, the glorious sword, will reign bringing justice and peace to all who believe. Great images to take with you today that can bring peace, hope, restoration and victory to our lives.
One of the most important Messianic prophesies in the Bible appears in Jeremiah 23. Jeremiah wrote about the King who would come to reign in wisdom and justice with the power to save. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” This prophecy was partially fulfilled when Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and died on the cross and rose from the dead. There is also a future portion yet to be realized where Jesus will reign with wisdom and justice here in the land. In the meantime, He is here reigning in our hearts with love, wisdom and justice indwelling us with His Holy Spirit. His return and reign are still future to us.
God desires for us to be righteous in character through His Son, Jesus. “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:21-24 The Lord can be our righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead imputed His righteousness into our account and gave us life and victory over death when we believe in Him. Titus 2:13-14 reminds us of our wait for Jesus’ return and what He accomplished when He came, “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” We are a people He saved for Himself to do His good works and spread the good news of redemption that is available through faith in Jesus. Jesus is our Righteousness now and forever. He covers our sins and makes us righteous before our Holy God.
I am praising and thanking God that He is my Righteousness today.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. This amazing Biblical truth gives me assurance of my salvation and hope for today and a future with Christ. It also assures me of where and to whom I belong through my faith in Jesus. Paul also spoke of this guaranteeing seal in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 5:5 “ Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” What does a seal do? A seal protects the contents (us) from harmful things getting in and it marks it as authentic. By being sealed with God’s Holy Spirit we are insulated or protected from the power of Satan over us and His Spirit marks us as belonging to Him, we are His- authentic believers in Christ. His seal gives me assurance that I belong to Him for eternity and is evidence that He is working within me. What a wonderful promise to claim in Christ!
What about you? Do you feel His Spirit within you? Do you listen when He speaks and leads you away from wrong choices? Scripture says in Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” God will give you assurance and hope that you belong to Him through His indwelling Holy Spirit. Believe it, embrace it, and cling to it today. As a believer, you belong to God and are sealed by His Holy Spirit and NOTHING can change that! His Holy Spirit gives us an eternal promise with hope for now and into eternity. Thank you Jesus!
Sealed by Jesus,
Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am united with Jesus in Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” Jesus spoke of His Spirit that was to come in John 15 and told us that His Spirit would comfort, guide and reveal the truth of the Father to us. John 7:38-39 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” His spirit bears witness to our spirit and is living within us. Romans 8:11 clarifies and defines this spirit we received from Jesus by faith. “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” His Spirit is life giving and eternal. It is faith in Jesus that brings His Spirit to live within us and unites us to Him. Romans 8:9 in the New Living Translation states it plainly, if you know Christ, His Spirit lives in you, if you don’t He doesn’t. “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) This uniting with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live for Christ and reject our sinful nature, reject temptations and focus on living for Christ.
So what about you? Are you living a Spirit controlled life with serving and glorifying God your main goals? Are you serving and worshiping God but want things your own way and want to tell God what is best? Are you unaware of the Spirit in your life? Lent is a time of self-reflection and prayer. Take a close look at your goals and motives and see where you place God. If He is not at the center, ask Him to reveal to you what you need to do. Pray as we are directed in Matthew 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Being united to Jesus is a joy,