Almighty God Intervened, and Intervenes, Spectacularly – And Continues to Do So Today

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Do you really know that this is how God has worked in the past, and how He continues to work and move and inspire and strengthen today?

Isaiah 61 and Luke Chapter 4 – “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor – He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted.”

After all the rather hard and harsh truths which Isaiah was given to proclaim during his lengthy prophetic ministry, God places these words in his heart.

We are reading here of how God would intervene spectacularly.

As we approach this season which many call ‘Advent’ – in a year which has been like no other – we so need the comforting grace of our gracious God and the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit – and where better to open our hearts than to the truth and truths of Scripture.

Isaiah senses that the Spirit of the Lord God was upon him.

Isaiah knew he was anointed by God – that can make a man speak out boldly and courageously – that can also make a man tremble. When you do speak out you tremble – and when you do not speak out you tremble.

Without the Spirit of God we would not have any live living message to preach – and without the Spirit of God we cannot receive and embrace the word which is preached and proclaimed.

The good news of God needs the Holy Spirit’s anointing.

There came a time in Isaiah’s ministry when he had to do something new and say something fresh – and for these tasks God gave Isaiah the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

It all appears so remarkably simple and straight forward at the first reading.

The good news was to the poor – to those people who had been taken off into captivity – and who had been driven from their homes – because of their sin, and the sins of their parents.

They became broken hearted, and God sent Isaiah with a healing soothing uplifting and encouraging word – and it was also a word of freedom – and a word of hope and strength.

God had not forgotten His people – He never will.

Verses 1 to 5 – Those who had been prisoners by the Rivers of Babylon were going to be liberated and released and delivered from this prison – and blessed. Isaiah is standing tall here.

This is our God – always wanting to bless His people – but dealing with those who oppose Him too. Those who were sad, and mourning, were going to be comforted and strengthened.

Isaiah describes the ways in which God would bless His people –

Beauty for ashes – We give these ashes to God and in return God gives us beauty, in our hearts and minds and lives.

Ashes remind us of dust – of death. Sackcloth and ashes refer to penitence. The ashes of our hopes and dreams – exchanged for a crown of beauty.

Oil of gladness for mourning – In place of mourning, God gives us the oil of gladness – a healing and wholeness and strength, when we most need it.

Praise for despair – A garment of praise replaces a spirit of despair.

Many are experiencing despair in these days. For many it is a time of disappointment and turmoil, and even defeat. Isaiah speaks of God removing this cloak and replacing it with a garment of praise.

God comforts us through His Word – through the Holy Spirit – and through His people.

People will be planted by the Lord to display His glory. This is one of the main purposes of the people of God – to display His splendour – His glory.

There are times when God takes you and plants you for one purpose – to reflect His splendour and glory and majesty and power.

Isaiah is looking forward to that day when the Messiah would appear – when Jesus Christ would come.

The Gospel blessings which the Messiah brings are not primarily physical, but spiritual. God wants to have a people who would display His glory.

God is going to plant people – oaks of righteousness – implying strength, sturdiness, and stability – as well as beauty – with a degree of permanence.

Zion was devastated by the invader – but God is going to restore as He replants. We have had an invader invade the nations.

Luke 4 verses 13 to 21 – Jesus has overcome the temptations of the devil – and he returns to Nazareth.

On the Sabbath Day Jesus went to the ‘church service’ – as was his custom – his habit – his pattern – his example – to that dry dead old synagogue in Nazareth. The faults of the church of the day did not prevent Jesus from going as a sincere worshipper. If there was emptiness, Jesus would fill that emptiness with meaning and significance and relevance.

Jesus was invited to read the scripture, and he turned to Isaiah 61.

We can read these verses in the light of Calvary and the Resurrection and Pentecost

Jesus had come to do all these things which Isaiah prophesied – but now it was not going to be limited to Israel – Jesus was enlarging and broadening the scope of his ministry.

These words in Isaiah speak of Messiah. Big concepts are proclaimed.

Isaiah sees a day when strangers and foreigners will come to Israel and do much of the work among the flocks and in the fields – verses 5 and 6 – so that those who are called by God to minister spiritually will be free to do so – and have time to do so. It is simply a division of function.

Where sin has created devastation and ruin – God builds and restores – for His glory. The Gospel is not a small Gospel – it is for Jew and Gentile – that excludes no one.

Israel was to go to all the nations – we are called to go to all the world.

God intervened – through Isaiah, and various other prophets – but supremely through Jesus – at the right time – not a moment late.

Advent – this season when many remember that Jesus Christ is coming again – when he intervenes finally as Judge – the first time Jesus came as Saviour – the second time he comes as Judge – and he will not be a moment late. Let that encourage and uplift and uphold you this day.

And – if you need our Almighty Gracious God to intervene in some special and specific way in your life – or situation – or circumstances – ask Him – because our God intervened and intervenes.

“Our gracious God – we have seen how You have intervened down through the years – and even over these past years, Lord Jesus, you have poured out your Holy Spirit anew and afresh – and many of us have drunk that living water which has become a reservoir within. We give thanks and praise, for all You have done in our lives over the years. We bow and worship.” Amen

Source by Sandy Shaw

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