Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary Definition of Truth:
Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.
THROUGH ISAAC’S SON GOD WILL RECONCILE ALL HUMANITY
This prophecy clearly states the lineage of the Messiah will come from Abraham through Isaac and not Ishmael. This gives credence to the genealogies listed in Matthew chapter one and Luke chapter three. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy becoming the reconciliation for humanity to the loving heavenly Father.
ISAAC AND ISHMAEL IN CONFLICT
Gen 21:12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
THE MYSTERY OF THE AGES NOW DISCLOSED
64 AD (U)
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Prophecies declared are in blue, prophecies fulfilled are in red, prophecies currently being fulfilled are in green, and prophecies to be fulfilled are in orange. Bold historical context dates are from Jeff Swanson’s The Plan dating system, and dates marked (U) are Archbishop Ussher’s 1658 dating system.
** The date of this prophecy is in its referential context: the verse has been moved to the time frame of its contextual orientation.
God’s people in the furnace
“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7
Beloved, the first thing I will give you is the comfort of the text itself—election. Comfort yourself with this thought: God says, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” “The fire is hot, but he has chosen me; the furnace burns, but he has chosen me; these coals are hot, I do not love the place, but he has chosen me.” Ah! It comes like a soft gale assuaging the fury of the flame. It is like some gentle wind fanning the cheeks; yes, this one thought arrays us in fireproof armour, against which the heat has no power. “Let affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, you may come in at the door—God is in the house already, and he has chosen me. Sickness, you may come, but I will have this by my side for a balsam—God has chosen me. Whatever it is, I know that he has chosen me.” The next comfort is that you have the Son of man with you in the furnace. In that silent bedchamber of yours, there sits by your side one whom you have not seen, but whom you love; and often when you know it not, he makes your bed in your affliction, and smooths your pillow for you. You are in poverty; but in that lonely house of yours that has nothing to cover its bare walls, where you sleep on a miserable straw mattress, you know that the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor; he often treads those bare floors, and putting his hands upon those walls he consecrates them! If you were in a palace he might not come there. He loves to come into these desolate places that he may visit you. The Son of man is with you, Christian.
Sermon no. 35
12 August (1855)
Friend to Friend
To buy peace with her, I would scratch her arm in class. She would sit in front of me, push her arm back toward my desk, and I was supposed to scratch it on demand. I never wanted to get in trouble in class, so I was nervous that the teacher would not like what I was doing. But I was more nervous about my bully, so I always complied.
Giants that intimidate us come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. God knows we face giants that scare us; that’s why we can find the command “Fear not” in the Bible hundreds of times. Here are a few examples:
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NKJV)
“And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you’” (Joshua 10:8, NKJV).
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32, NKJV).
When my daughter Noelle was about five, her tormentor, as you may relate to, was her older brother Ethan. One day, she wrote him a brave note that read: I am not ufred uv you Ethan. He took the note and with great fanfare, ripped it in two. She could have crumbled under the pressure but even then, Noelle stood her ground. She had declared, “I am not afraid of you, big brother!” and she meant it.
There are many forces that come against us, whether from within our families or maybe from the workplace, from media to unfaithful friends. During a pandemic, fear runs rampant. What if someone I love gets sick? What if I can’t return to my job? What if the schools close? Fear can keep us up at night and demoralize us.
Today’s truth reminds us to sacrifice thanks to God, to fulfill our vows (that’s about obedience) and to call on God in the day of trouble. Lean into God’s promise when you are afraid. He proclaims, “I will deliver you!”
Notice thanksgiving and following God’s commands proceed this deliverance from fear. When you thank God in the midst of your fear, and obey the Word of God, you open the door for God to bless your life. Faith overcomes fear. Faith grows as we believe in our hearts and say even out loud, “I put my confidence in God because He is bigger than my problems, bigger than my fears.”
Going back to my childhood bully in elementary school, you know the funny thing is, we became friends. Today my kids Ethan and Noelle are in high school, and Noelle is still unafraid when it comes to her brother.
The giants of yesterday don’t seem so big anymore. Let’s remember today that God specializes in putting giants in their place, if we will let Him.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are five marvelous things God has done for you this month?
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