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Friday, November 30, 2012

Watching with Isaiah: Do You See What I See? Pt. 1: Reflecting on Isaiah 2.1-9

[This is a short, 5 part series, reflecting with Isaiah on the coming of Christ. If you enjoy the series, then (1) let me know; & (2) feel free to use it or pass it around (but please, let me know)]
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Reflecting on Isaiah 2.1-9

“For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: 
the old order has gone; a new order has already begun.” 
(2 Cor. 5.17 REB).

Changed Direction 2.1-3a and 5.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, ( . . . ) O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.”
See here the upward flow; up to the mountain of the LORD. A new day is promised when the nations will be magnetically drawn in a shockingly new direction, just as shockingly new as if a river stream flowed upward. The draw will be a supernatural magnetism that will turn the barbarians—whether civil or not—away from their valley existence upward to a mountain top life. And the call of 3a, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD”, is restated by the call to Jacob in 5b, “come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.” If the tribe of God, Jacob, already has the revelation of God, how foolish for them to walk away from it, as they were doing during the time of Isaiah. The charge to them is to cast off their darkened blindness and reclaim their honorable position—come, let us walk in the light. That also is a changed direction. Now, together, barbarians and pagans, along with good church people, who have been walking in the dark, are to turn back to the light, the light of God’s heart, God’s joy, God’s way!

“For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: 
the old order has gone; a new order has already begun.” 
(2 Cor. 5.17 REB)

Changed Dedication 2.3b.
“that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
The yearning of those who are coming up to the house of the LORD is for the LORD to teach them. But watch out! These people have an anticipation that this teaching by God will impact and infect their way of living and thinking. “That he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths”!!!! There’s an anticipation of change, new life, new patterns and new habits of life-style. This template is laid down all over scripture: Come as you are, but thank God he won’t leave you as you are! If you “come to church”, but are pleased with yourself and content with your marriage, satisfied with your lifestyle, genetic inclinations, and fatalistic determinisms, then you really want no part of the true, transformation-bringing God!
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6.9-11).
“For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: 
the old order has gone; a new order has already begun.” 
(2 Cor. 5.17 REB).

Changed Definition 2.3c-4.
“For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Finally, with this new thing, this surprising attraction to God’s place, to God’s way, there is a new definition. This is an inside-out reorientation! Watch how the Hatfields and the McCoys are transformed by the intervention of the God.
"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9.6-7).
Though they come as they are, he won’t leave them as they are. The inside-out changes are liberating! Now, in casting off all their fatalistic tribalism, THEY (1) transform the means of war; (2) throw off the practice of war; and (3) trash the mentality of war.

“For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: 
the old order has gone; a new order has already begun.” 
(2 Cor. 5.17 REB).

Questions to personally ponder:
Is there now a changed Direction in us?
Is there now a changed dedication in our lives?
Is there now a changed definition?
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Mike

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