Summary: As we all know, today is the last day of the year. In only a few hours many of us will gather with our family and loved ones to bring in the New Year.
As we all know, today is the last day of the year. In only a few hours many of us will gather with our family and loved ones to bring in the New Year. Those that live in the world will do this by hosting great parties, where alcoholic beverages will abound, thus providing our enemy with yet another opportunity to separate men from God. Y say this because as we all know, tonight many will loose their life due to automobile accidents caused by drunk driving. Others, unable to reason properly due to alcohol impairment will commit acts that will result in grave consequences to their life and the life of those that surround hem. As I said, the world will celebrate this evening in this fashion, but unfortunately, a large group of believers will also join these festivities or celebrations, thus providing the enemy one more opportunity to enter and destroy what God has initiated in their life. Why does this happen? How can people that know the truth stumble and fall? I would say that the main reason why people stumble and fall is because they continue living in the past. Once this happens, we then make ourselves slaves of this world. Why do I say this? I say this because our conscience will constantly accuse us, something that will drive us to lead a life full of remorse, instead of a life full of the love and peace that God wants us to lead. How many would like to lead this type of life? How many would like to have a life full of joy and peace in our Lord? How many would like to have a new start? Let’s now turn to the word of God to learn how we can achieve this.
Isaiah 43:18-19 - Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
As I always say, to have a better understanding of the message that God has for us today, it will be necessary to conduct a brief history review. Isaiah lived during a time when the people of God were divided in two kingdoms; Israel was the kingdom of the north, and Judah was the kingdom of the south. What was happening back then was the kingdom of the north had turned its back on God, and the kingdom of the south was headed in the same direction. When we study what was happening with the people of God back then, we find that they had turned their backs to God to lead a life full of sin. It is for this reason that Isaiah warned the people of Judah of the impending judgment of God due to their moral depravation, political corruption, social injustice, and specially the spiritual idolatry. This is something that is very well reflected in the prophet’s words as we find in Isaiah 1:1-4 when we read "The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. A Rebellious Nation 2Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand." 4Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him". Because the people would not turn their back on sin, Isaiah told them that they would eventually be defeated. God would deliver them in the hands of Babylon so that they would once again become captives and slaves. Look carefully at how this is clearly stated in Isaiah 39:5-7 when we read "Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD Almighty: 6The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. 7And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." Why is it important to know these things? It is important because through them we learn that there are consequences to our actions. Therefore, keeping these things in mind, let’s now continue with our study for today.
The people of Judah would still have to endure through another one hundred years of difficulties before the fall of Israel, and through seventy years of exile, but in these verses that we will be using today, through Isaiah God offers them words of consolation. God was calling them to a new beginning; God was calling them to repent. But what do these words tell us today? Will we be led captives into Babylon?