Focus Verse: The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood, it is covered with fat—the blood of lambs and goats, fat from the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. (6)
Our Lord is not just the Good Shepherd, but also a warrior. He did not come to only bring peace, but also a sword. This should not frighten us. If God only brought peace, all the evil that is present in our world would go unpunished. But Righteousness cannot make peace with unrighteousness; Love cannot shake hands with hate; the Truth cannot live with the father of lies. In order for all to be set right, the Lord must totally destroy all that is wrong.
Focus Verse: And those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (10)
Isaiah is talking about Israel here, but his words can also go for all of the Redeemed people of God. On the day we are allowed to enter the gates of Heaven, there will be singing, not sadness. We will be crowned with everlasting joy. In place of weakness and fear, we will have strength.
Focus Verse: The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours?” (4)
The field commander asks two great questions that every Christian should answer: On what do we base our confidence? On whom are we depending?
Are we confident we will get through life because of our good grades, our fashionable clothes, our cool friends? Are we confident in our looks, our personalities, our athletic abilities or are we confident in our God? In times of trouble, do we depend on ourselves or do we depend on God to deliver us?
Focus Verse: Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. (20)
Abraham was nearly a hundred years old and Sarah was in her nineties when God promised to give them a son. Humanly speaking, this was impossible; but Abraham did not doubt. He fully believed that God would do what He had promised to do. Amid years of waiting, Sarah’s laughter, and the screw-up with Hagar, Abraham’s faith did not waver. Against all hope, he believed in hope and it was credited to him as righteousness.
I used to wonder how God-fearing Old Testament people made it into Heaven when they lived years before Jesus the Christ even came to earth. They are in Heaven today because they “believed God” and God credited their belief in Him as righteousness. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” You don’t have to do any good works. You don’t have to read the Bible or be a member of a church. You don’t even have to say a prayer. All you have to do to gain eternal life is BELIEVE in Christ and He immediately becomes our righteousness.
Shortly after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God Himself promised us a Savior who would crush the head of Satan and free us from the curse of death. Abraham (and all the other Old Testament faithful like him) took God’s promise to heart and believed in the Messiah for their salvation long before He arrived.