Reflecting on the brutality of ISIS, the intolerance being held in America against Christians in what is supposedly a “tolerant” society, how can we be sure the church can withstand and persevere in the midst of all that is happening? The quick answer is to abide in Jesus’ words of Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We can be sure the church will stand because Jesus said so. But let’s not stop there. Over the next two weeks, I would like to look at Isaiah 2 for this same line of thought. We can have confidence the church will endure in what seems to be an uncertain and bleak future because our God is in control. We can trust in the Lord because He is sovereign. He has authority over redemption and over judgment, much of which makes up the book of Isaiah (judgment is in view of chapters 1-39 while redemption is focused on in chapters 40-66). The aspect of God’s sovereignty in redemption is where Isaiah 2 begins. Notice in verse 2 we are shown God is in control of when redemption happens and how redemption happens. Often, things do not happen immediately and patience and trust in the Lord is tested. Such is the case with Israel and also can be with us. It is important, though, to ask if trials and tribulations may be occurring because of the way we are living. While there may be persecution, there are instances where Christians are suffering because of the consequences of their sin. After all, it is because of our sin we need a Savior and Redeemer. And that is exactly how redemption does happen. God is exalted above all and reigns supreme. With God as Judge, disputes are not ultimately settled by war but by the word of God. Yahweh is the rightful King, who has died to forgive us and rose again to redeem us. It is only when God is lifted that the sword will not be. “Many peoples” will call the one true God their Lord and they will come together to worship the God of all nations (verse 3; see Acts 2:5-6). This is possible because of the cross of Christ. There is possible reconciliation between peoples because we have been reconciled to our God. Praise be to God that He is sovereign over when redemption takes place, how redemption takes place, and whom redemption involves. Even in dark times, we can trust in a God who is in control.
- How does remembering God’s sovereignty in redemption affect your life of worship to Him?