A Righteous King Is Coming!
“Look, a righteous king is coming!” – Isaiah 32:1 NLT
There is a theme running through all the books of the prophets in the Old Testament. It is a theme of redemption and salvation. Yes, God will discipline, but He will also deliver. He will punish, but He will also restore. Ultimately, the message is one of hope. The holy, righteous God who is bringing destruction on His own people, will also bring salvation. And while the punishment is based on their behavior, their salvation is based solely on God’s mercy and grace. He will restore them in spite of them. The day will come when God restores His people, the people of Israel, to a right relationship with Him. So He calls them to return to Him because He wants to restore them. “Repent, return, dear Israel, to the One you so cruelly abandoned. On the day you return, you’ll throw away – every last one of you – the no-gods your sinful hands made from metal and wood” (Isaiah 31:6-7 NLT). But they will continue to live in rebellion to Him. They will continue to reject His offer of restoration for repentance. But one day, God will restore them Himself. “Until at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven. Then the wilderness will become a fertile field, and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops. Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:15-17 NLT).
The prophet Ezekiel gives us more details concerning this great day of redemption for the people of Israel. It has yet to happen, but it will one day take place. And it will be the work of God, not men. He will pour out His grace and mercy – totally undeserved and unearned. He will redeem and restore, bringing salvation in the midst of rebellion. Because that is the kind of God He is.
“Therefore, tell Israel, ’Message of God, the Master: I’m not doing this for you, Israel. I’m doing it for me, to save my character, my holy name, which you’ve blackened in every country where you’ve gone. I’m going to put my great and holy name on display, the name that has been ruined in so many countries, the name that you blackened wherever you went. Then the nations will realize who I really am, that I am God, when I show my holiness through you so that they can see it with their own eyes. For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!” – Ezekiel 36:22-28 MSG
The righteous King is coming. The faithful God is going to provide salvation for His people. He will do for them what they could never have done for themselves. He will do for the people of Israel what He has done for every believer – He will save them in spite of themselves. He will provide the righteousness of Christ in place of their own unrighteousness. He will give them new hearts and a new capacity to love and serve Him. Their rebellion will be replaced with devotion. Their stubbornness will be replaced with a willingness to follow Him. He will restore them to the land and to a right relationship with Him. All because of His unchanging faithfulness.
Father, Your faith is unfathomable. Your kindness is immeasurable. Your patience is unbelievable. What You have done for me by providing Your Son as my sin substitute and Savior is mind-boggling. I didn’t deserve it. I could never have earned it. And I can never repay You for it. But You are going to do the same thing for Your chosen people – the people of Israel. Your faithfulness to them should be an encouragement to me. It should remind me of just how gracious, merciful and loving You are. You are an amazing God and worthy to be praised. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men