The Warfare Is Ended
Read Isaiah 40:1-31.
All our words and wisdom pale in the bright hope and confidence so eloquently expressed in this chapter. These are good words for us to hear. As death draws near, everyone involved needs to hear of the comfort that is ours. Our warfare is near its end. God comes to gather and feed his flock. (v. 11) God is great, and his word stands firm forever.
In our last meditation, we considered the importance of saying our goodbyes and being reconciled with our family and friends. This passage in Isaiah points out how we are to be reconciled with God. Throughout this chapter, Isaiah portrays the power and magnificence and wonder that are God's. This confession has two implications.
First, we must kneel in awe and humility before God's greatness. To confess God's 'goodness' is to confess our humanity and weakness. We recognize that we are as the grass that withers and the flowers that fade. We also acknowledge our sinfulness. To confess God is to confess our sin. Yet it is this sin that God graciously pardons. (v. 2) God has always been merciful, and in Christ's death on the cross, God has won for us the final victory over sin and death. God has reconciled us through Christ. By our confession and God's forgiveness, we become reconciled ones, God's lambs whom he gathers in his arms.
The second result of confessing God is that we receive the benefits of being God's people. We are forgiven. We are comforted. "Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God." We are consoled by the God who comes to feed his sheep. God who created and rules the universe is the God who sustains us. We are the people who wait for our Lord, whose strength is renewed, who mount up with wings like eagles, who run and are not wearied, who walk and do not faint. (v. 31)
May this be a time of reconciliation, and may it be a time of forgiveness and comfort and strength. May our warfare end in peace.
|Lord, you are our God, and we are your people. We confess you as the almighty Creator and Redeemer. We confess our sinfulness before you and thank you for the forgiveness and life you give us through Christ. Be with us now and comfort us. Gather us in your arms and strengthen us in your love. Amen.|
©1998 Mark Vitalis Hoffman - CrossMarks Christian Resources - www.CrossMarks.com