Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-02-24

We must never forget God is the true Rescuer from the things that exile His people from His presence [our home]. The Lord rescued Israel from bondage—slavery to the oppressive governing of Egypt. He rescued Israel from exile [a forced journey] imposed by the governing Assyrians and the Babylonians. When God’s people were rescued, God was the Rescuer who came to bring his people back home under His righteous rule. But, let’s not forget it was Israel’s unfaithfulness [unbelief—lack of trust] that caused their exiled situation in the first place. God’s plan for Israel was to be an example to the nations as they lived by faith in Creator God—to be His worshipers.

What can we learn from things like the exile, bondage, and oppressive governing? Honestly, our biggest take away from reading Scripture should be the revelation of God’s stedfast faithfulness for His unfaithful creation. From the beginning of time, God was determined to be creation’s Rescuer by being humanity’s Redeemer. The Messiah was always the planned Way to salvation for Israel (a covenant people who let God’s holiness prevail). God chose to work through an unfaithful Israel to provide revelation and redemption for the nations of the world. For this reason, Israel has historically been in the spotlight, suffered greatly, and continues to suffer, today. Believers must pray for and support Israel, because when we do we are aligning with the plan of God to bring salvation through the Messiah or Christ to not only them, but to an unbelieving global world.

In our passage today, the prophet Isaiah is used by God as a mouthpiece of preparation to reveal to Israel [and to us] the Rescuer and Redeemer is coming to deliver His people from sin. Jesus is that Servant who was sent by the Father to be a Light [revelation] to guide the unbelieving nation of Israel back “home” to God’s presence. He is also the Savior who came as a Light so a lost and unbelieving world could find “home” (Luke 2:28:32; Acts 13:47; Acts 26:22-23).

In spite of the struggles, genuine believers are those who remain faithful in the strength of the Lord by obeying the Word and the Voice of God’s Spirit. We can never remain in God’s presence apart from Jesus, but let’s never forget Jesus is Lord! He takes sinful, unbelieving and selfish humanity who have been separated by sin from His presence, draws them by salvation near to His holiness, and works to transform unfaithful people into worshipers.

Isaiah 49:5-6 GNT
Before I was born, the Lord appointed me;
    he made me his servant to bring back his people,
    to bring back the scattered people of Israel.
The Lord gives me honor;
    he is the source of my strength.
6 (A)The Lord said to me,
“I have a greater task for you, my servant.
    Not only will you restore to greatness
    the people of Israel who have survived,
but I will also make you a light to the nations—
    so that all the world may be saved.”

Prayer: Father, we know no weapon formed against believers can prosper, because you hold all authority and power in your righteous Hand. Thank you for your saving work through the nation of Israel and thank you for bringing salvation to the gentiles so we can be the people who also allow you to prevail. We pray Messiah’s peace for Israel and the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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