Today you should read: Isaiah 48
We can’t afford not to follow God …
Woulda, shoulda, coulda relate some plaguing thoughts that characterize regret for the things of the past that we missed out on. We all have our regrets, our paralyzing fears, our missed opportunities, and our embarrassing failures of the past. Sometimes they drive us to despair and sometimes they motivate us to be better. But one thing is true; we only have one life. Hopefully at the end of our lives, or in the home stretch, we won’t have to say things like, “I could have done so much more for the kingdom.” Or, “I should have loved God and influenced others so much more.” We have a time right now to take full advantage of our opportunity to follow Jesus and make Him known.
Our passage today touches on a lot. God’s people have been made captives of the Babylonians. This was a disciplinary action of the Lord. But the Lord is calling and will continue to call His people back to Himself. He will buy His people back from their slavery. He is going to redeem them. Which, He is about to announce, he will permanently do this through Jesus. In this redeeming, He will show His patience and forgiveness for His own Name’s sake. For His glory He will save His people. This is all for His glory. But His people will benefit as well.
And packed in this chapter, beginning in verse 18, God speaks of what could have been.
Verses 18-19 in our passage say,
“Oh, that you had listened to my commands!
Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river
and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore—
too many to count!
There would have been no need for your destruction,
or for cutting off your family name.”
Although God is about to free His people (verse 20) and is going to tell them to joyfully shout of their redemption, they could have avoided their slavery altogether. God says that if they would have listened to His commands and put Him first, they could have had steadfast peace, and prosperous descendents, and no need for discipline and destruction.
My encouragement to us today is to take full advantage of our opportunity to follow the Lord and His word! If you do, you have the same promise of “peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.” With this in view and with the reward of our descendents experiencing the blessings of the Lord, we can’t afford to not follow God closely. Let’s take full advantage of our opportunity right now.
Posted by:Sam Cirrincione