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Our Good God (Isaiah 60:1-3)

Posted by Pr Chris Kam on

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Publishes on Sundays.


Scripture:

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Isaiah 60:1–3 (NIV)

Observation:
Isaiah had prophesied of peace and prosperity to come during a tumultuous time of rebellion of God's people. The nation had turned a deaf ear to God, offering meaningless sacrifices and committing injustices throughout the nation. God was not going to let them go on that. He would ultimately exile them.

All discipline of God are for our good and they will produce "a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11). The exiles on their return did not worship idols again.

Isaiah came under five Judean kings - Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh and it was traditionally understood that it was Manasseh who had him put to death by being "sawed in two." Being a prophet came at a high cost but they lived in obedience to the calling, to call out sin and be willing to die for their obedience.

They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

Hebrews 11:37-38 (NIV)

Application
Our Christian heritage today came at a great price, through the martyrdom of the saints of old, from the Old Testament to the New, and throughout church history, and ultimately the greatest price of all paid by the Son of God on the Cross. Isaiah's name means "Salvation of Yahweh." His death echoed of the ultimate death to come of the Messiah. The book of Isaiah contains one of the clearest expressions of the Gospel in the Old Testament. God had miraculously and lovingly held out hope to His unrepentant and rebellious people, offering the cleansing and forgiveness of sins, and blessings that come with their obedience. Grace and mercy were already present in the Old Testament. Salvation lies with God and the responsibility lies with us to take up the offer.

So, is God good? The clarion answer is "Definitely yes" because we don't deserve His grace and mercy. In fact we deserve His wrath, yet in His mercy, He redeemed us to be His people. So much so that in the gloom of the times of Isaiah, there was prophesied a hope for the nation, "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of dawn." God kept His promise to Abraham.

One message is clear from Genesis to Revelation: God is faithful even if we are not. We must never take God for granted by the way we live our lives. He has called the church to be His light. Let's not dim that light by our fleshly rebellion. Let's live a life of repentance and humility every day by inviting the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Learn the habit of greeting "Good morning, Holy Spirit" each day.

Two questions we can ask daily as a spiritual check:
Have we ourselves rebel against God?
Have we dealt with others justly?

Let's not miss out in experiencing the blessings of our Good God in living rightly.

Response
Lord, help me to never take your salvation for granted. I must acknowledge humbly that there's nothing good in me and that I need the Spirit of God to transform me. May I live a life that bring honour to Your Good Name. Thank you Lord for forgiving this dreadful sinner. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN!


Pastor Chris Kam is Senior Pastor of Damansara Utama Methodist Church.

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays.