God wants only the very best for us…the most excellent, most productive life we can live…filled with the greatest satisfaction we can ever experience. Just like the old TV show, “Father Knows Best”, our Heavenly Father really does know what’s best for us. And we will discover it also as we allow God to teach, lead, and guide us.
The premise of these verses is pretty simple…stop doing wrong, learn to do right. In other words, practice the truth…doing the right thing when you see injustice happening. But this is usually where fear jumps in and stops us from becoming involved. We know what the Lord would want us to do…but stepping into an unknown situation can be scary. But if we do choose to walk away, God sees it as indifference and blatant disregard for the oppressed. The Lord has called all Believers to champion the causes of the vulnerable among us. Let’s not allow fear and doubt to stop us from practicing the truth.
To paraphrase Isaiah 8:12-13, Do not follow the ways of the world…do not accept the world’s viewpoint…do not fear what they fear. For their fear is based on the temporal…of secular and fleshly concerns only. But as Believers, we have the blessed assurance of eternal life, so there is no fear of death its self. For it tells us in I Corinthians 15:42-44, ” So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” The world may kill our physical body, but it can’t take our soul. For only Satan has the power to devastate both body and soul in the place of the lost and condemned.
Let’s say you land in a foreign country, having no knowledge of the city or its language. But there waiting for you is the leading dignitary. He welcomes you and then informs you that he personally will be escorting you around the city. All the pent-up fear and anxiety within would melt away as he guided you to his official car…for you would feel safe and secure with this help. The world is a scary place to live today, and we all feel like foreigners in a strange land. But God is like that dignitary…offering His hand in support and encouragement. Calming and assuring us that He is there to help. For anything can be faced with trust in the Lord…anything.
I listened to a song the other day…its title a declaration that a lot of us might not say with any conviction…”I am ready for the Storm.” Now I realize that it’s not if but when trials will come into my life…but to proclaim that I’m ready for them gives me pause. So how can I prepare? The Psalmist here shows us that it’s the daily renewing of our heart and mind that will enable us to do this. Our faith is renewed and given new life daily…ever-deepening, ever-increasing, as we put more and more of our trust in the Lord. This divine restoration is spoken of in Isaiah 40:31, ” But those who put their hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” So I may not like it, but I can now say with certainty… Yes Lord, with Your help, I’m ready for the storm.
The Lord calls you to do His work and instead, you balk. You feel incapable, inept, and unfit for the job. Wonderful! You’re in great company! Here King David, a man after God’s own heart, lamented…”Who am I Lord to be used by You?” When God called Moses, all he could do was make excuses and ask, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) Isaiah, when called, could only fixate on his own sinfulness and unclean lips, not on what God was commissioning him to do.(Isaiah 6:5) Jeremiah tried to justify not obeying the Lord by claiming he was too young to preach. (Jeremiah 1:6) And Ezekiel when called, just got angry. (Ezekiel 3:14) Realize that you are not alone when you feel unworthy and unqualified for the plan God has laid out before you. He would not have called you if He wasn’t absolutely certain you were the best one for the job. Please understand that the Lord isn’t asking you to do it alone…He’ll be with you every step of the way…He’s only asking for your obedience.
Isaiah gives a vivid picture of this knowledge of the Lord in Chapter 11, verse 9 when he says, “For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” All mankind has the opportunity to experience the Lord in a personal way…to have intimate fellowship with the Creator of the universe. For you can be “told” about God all your life, but it’s not until you fully grasp what Jesus did for you on that Cross…dying so you may live…that you can really “know” Him. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8