Daily Devotional Bible Verses
Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
and the LORD removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump. (Isaiah 6:11-13 ESV)
Imagine Isaiah’s dismay when he learned the message he was to deliver to his people in Isaiah 6:9-10. After learning of his difficult task, he asked, “How long, O Lord?”
Which is probably what any of us would ask. “How long do I have to do this job?” But the end of Isaiah’s God given message seemed just as grim as the beginning. God was referring to future events here.
In 586 BC Judea would be taken into exile by the Babylonians, and then the job would be finished in 70 AD when the soon-to-be emperor Titus destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem.
These were bitter words with a bitter timeline. How could any of this talk of desolation and exile be good news? Only by bringing the Secret of the Bible to bear upon it.
The Secret of the Bible is Jesus. It’s not a special formula to plug memory verses into, or a magic story that instantly applies all of God’s truth to one’s life.
Rather, it is the reality that all of Scripture, including today’s text, was written in anticipation and explanation of Jesus.
You see, what would have happened roughly 700 years later if the Jews had accepted Jesus? If the Jewish people had listened and understood, seen and believed in him (instead of doing what God said they would in Isaiah 6:8-10)?
Then he never would have died on the cross for everyone’s sin.
Think of this for a moment, if the Jews accepted Jesus, then there would be no way for anyone to be ultimately cleansed of sin, and adopted as a son or daughter.
The Apostle Paul later explained that a “partial hardening” came upon them so that God’s plan of redemption could be carried out (2 Cor 3:14; Rom 11:25). Remember how it went down? Here’s the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost:
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” (Acts 2:22-23)
God always had a purpose and a plan to save us. And God is the one who paid the cost to do so. The same King who sat on the throne “high and lifted up” would some day step onto the earth, his footstool, and make a way for us to be in right relationship with him.
God is good and faithful and true. How can you be obedient like Isaiah, and help carry out the message of salvation even when it seems far off?