A few passages stood out to me today.
Isaiah 48:8b-9 For I know so well what traitors you are. You have been rebels from birth. Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out.
We, just like the Israelites, are deeply sinful people. Sinful from birth! Knowing our wickedness, why would God show us mercy? It's certainly not because we deserve it. After all, that's the very definition of mercy - deliverance from the judgment we deserve. Why is He merciful? For His sake. To glorify and honour His name.
This should be a humbling thought for us. We are not the center of the universe. Indeed, our salvation isn't even really about us. It's about God! Everything He does brings honour and glory to His name, and furthers His eternal purposes. Thankfully, we are the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. Do we recognize this? Or do we think we're doing God a favour by accepting Him as our Saviour?
Isaiah 50:4-11 describes Jesus as the obedient servant, even through the suffering He knows is coming - beatings, the hair of his beard being ripped from his face, being mocked, being spit on, being falsely accused, being betrayed, and ultimately being crucified. He knows this is coming and yet.....
Isaiah 50:7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.
Jesus was perfect, and yet was betrayed in such horrific fashion.
We are sinful and wicked, and yet very likely none of us will endure what Jesus chose to endure.
How we react in times of difficulty? Will we act like Jesus - will we set our face like a stone, determined to do His will, no matter the cost?
We can, when we walk in His strength, not our own.
When something is right, we need to stand for it! When we a right purpose that glorifies God, we need to see it through. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 51-53