Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Lord's Incomparability (Part III)

"O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Isaiah 40:9-11)

As a herald would seek a high and prominent place from which to project good tidings for the ears of the villagers below, in a figurative sense, God commands the city of Jerusalem, the Zion from which Christ will someday reign, to pronounce the glorious news of His future redemption. One can hear the tenor of these words in the voices of those who worshiped Christ upon His triumphal entry. The work of Calvary completed the task of man's redemption, and now the Savior awaits His return. When He comes back, Judah and her cities will know a joy unlike any other. Israel's self-righteous outlook will be removed. Her unbelieving heart changed, and her lack of godly fear corrected forever.

The Lord knows the work of every man. He sees the righteous works of those who are covered by His blood; and He sees the unregenerate works of those who are outside of it. The Lord Jesus echoed these words in John's Revelation when He said, "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be (Revelation 22:12)."

Surrounded by shepherds and their herds, Jerusalem's citizens would have understood well the comparison of God's rule to the tender leading of a shepherd. The foolish sheep cannot help themselves. Left alone, they would perish through predators, starvation, disease and outright stupidity. But under the shepherd's care, they are safe. The Lord Jesus is that Shepherd of the soul ( I Peter 2:25) and the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (Hebrews 13:20). Millions have experienced his gentle shepherding, and Israel will soon experience it herself.

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