Isaiah 42-43

Chosen By God To Know Him.

“But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord. “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God— there never has been, and there never will be.” ­– Isaiah 43:10 NLT

Over in the first chapter of the book of Acts we are given a recounting of Jesus’ last days on earth before His ascension. He meets with His disciples one last time and gives them instructions. He tells them, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NLT). The Greek word translated “witnesses” here is martys, from which we get our word martyr. It meant someone who had personally seen, heard, or witnessed something and was able to recount it. It referred to one who was a spectator of an event. Jesus tells His disciples that they are to be His witnesses, telling people about Him everywhere. They are to speak about what they have seen. They are to tell what they have heard. They are to give first-hand testimony about the truth of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection power. Theirs was not to be an academic recounting, a mere statement of the facts. It was to be personal and experiential. This was exactly what God was saying to the people of Judah through Isaiah the prophet. They have been chosen by God to be His witnesses. They had been chosen by God to know Him, believe in Him, and understand that He alone was God. They were to tell the nations around them of their personal experiences with the almighty God of the universe. They had had personal experience with Him. They had first-hand experience with His power, provision, protection, and even His loving punishment.

But they were deaf and blind. They wouldn’t listen and they refused to see. “Listen, you who are deaf! Look and see, you blind! Who is as blind as my own people, my servant? Who is as deaf as my messenger? Who is as blind as my chosen people, the servant of the Lord You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen” (Isaiah 42:18-20 NLT). What good is a deaf and blind witness? These people had been chosen by God to experience the power and the blessings of God, but they acted as if they were blind. They could see, but refused to do what was right. They could hear, but refused to do what they were told.

Over in the book of Luke we have recorded Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem right before His betrayal, trials, and death. The people cry out, “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” (Luke 19:38 NLT). The Pharisees demand that Jesus rebuke His followers for what they were saying. Jesus simply responds, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40 NIV). The very stones themselves would witness to the glory of God. Deaf, dumb, and blind stones would do what men were chosen and created to do. We have chosen by God to be eye-witnesses of His power. We have been chosen by God to personally know Him and tell what we know about Him to everyone we meet. We have a job to do. We have a responsibility to keep. The Psalmist put it this way: “We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation – GOD’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done” (Psalm 78:4 MSG). But what is it we are going to pass along? Sunday School stories? Moral lessons and impersonal recollections of days gone by? We are to be witnesses. We are to have personal stories of the marvelous things He has done in our lives. Our personal testimonies are not merely to be recountings of how we came to faith, but up-to-date reports on the power and presence of God in our lives SINCE we came to faith. We are to talk about what He is doing in our lives on a daily basis. We are to give witness to His love, mercy, grace, power, provision, protection, goodness, kindness, and the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit. But we can’t tell what we don’t know. We can’t describe what we can’t see. We have been chosen to know Him and see Him. Look for Him today. Watch out for His presence in Your life. He will be at work in and around Your life. Will you see Him? Will you be able to tell others about Him? You are His witness.

Father, I want to be a witness of Your power each and every day. You are working in and around my life. You never fail to do so. I just fail to see it, recognize it and praise You for it. Open my eyes that I might see You at work and tell others about Your marvelous deeds in my life. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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