“Wake Up, Wake Up” ( Isaiah 51: 7-9, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

God says, “Listen to Me.” He tells us, “do not fear disgrace by men, and do not be shattered by their taunts.” He encourages us to “put on the strength of the Lord’s power;” promising: “I — I Am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear man who dies, or a son of man who is given up like grass?” (Isaiah 51:12)

“Wake up, wake up; put on your strength.” (Isaiah 52:1) You “know My Name; therefore you know…that I Am He who says: Here I Am.” (Isaiah 52:6)  “Wake yourself, wake yourself up! Stand up.” (Isaiah 51:17) “‘In a surge of anger, I hid My face from you for a moment, but I have compassion on you with everlasting love,’ says the Lord your Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:8) “I put My Words in your mouth, and cover you with the shadow of My hand.” (Isaiah 51:16) “Joy and gladness overtake [you], and sorrow and sighing flee.” (Isaiah 51:11)

Do not be afraid, for God is Your Redeemer. “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6) The Lord promises, “My Word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do. You will indeed go out with joy.” (Isaiah 55:11-12)

“I Will See God In My Flesh” (Job 19: 25, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Job believes he knows God. However, through enormous adversity, Job learns that he only has heard rumors about God. In desperation Job cries, “But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger. My heart longs within me.” (Job 19: 25 – 27)

After all Job suffers, he protests and finally questions God. God responds, “Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me. Where were you when I established the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding.” (Job 38: 2 – 4)

Once Job hears God’s great argument, he recognizes that God “can do anything and no plan of [God’s] can be thwarted.” Job says to God, “You asked, ‘Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?” Then, Job confesses, “Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” (Job 42: 1 – 3)

Once Job understands that he does not understand and knows that he does not know, then he responds appropriately to God, “I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I take back my words and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42: 5 – 6)

Once we realize that we know nothing, have nothing; then we are able to repent and “know [our] living Redeemer,” Jesus Christ. We will see Him in our flesh, standing as the Last One.

“Directing Our Course” (Isaiah 48: 17, NIV & ESV) by Carley Evans

Directing Our Course (Isaiah 48: 17, NIV & ESV) by Carley Evans
Friday, September 4, 2009 at 7:03am

God says that He is the Lord, reminding us that He is our Redeemer; that He is Holy. He says, “I Am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you (NIV), who teaches you to profit (ESV).” He also tells us, “I Am the Lord your God, who directs you in the way you should go (NIV), who leads you in the way you should go. (ESV)”

Webster’s Vest Pocket Dictionary defines “direct” as “cause to move or follow a certain course,” “show (someone) the way,” “regulate the activities or course of,” “request with authority.” The verb “lead” is defined as “direct or run on a course,” “go at the head of,” and “bring or tend to a definite result.”

God has an ultimate result in His Mind; He has a certain course, a definitive way. He certainly knows what is best for us. He is most assuredly holy. Above all, He has the authority.

“Profit” is defined as “valuable return” or “gain.” God says He teaches us to gain. He expects us to gain a valuable return for His investment in us. God expects not only what is best for us, but what is best — period!

We see here God as Shepherd, prodding, directing our course with His crook. He hooks it around our necks now and then, pulling us away here, pushing us forward there. Sometimes He takes that crook and brings it down sharply on our backsides to remind us who is really in charge of our direction, of our ultimate course. He is at the head at times, expecting us to follow. Ocassionally, He winds up behind us, seeking us out with a wary eye. But, rest assured, He is always there. He is always our Shepherd, and He always loves His sheep.