Sunday, May 26th, 2013
Isaiah 61 (Part 9)
For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
Isaiah 61:8 (NKJV)
In the Old Testament, God's priests interceded for the sins of His people with ceremonies of sacrifice and offerings. Burnt offerings produced 'A sweet aroma to the Lord' (Leviticus 1:9). Consider the pleasant smell of meat on a grill. But the good smell passed, atonement was temporary, and corruption set in.
By the time Jesus arrived, priestly offerings had become empty rituals--robbing God's people of the 'Bread of Life' (John 6:35), which is a right relationship with God. Jesus corrected them. 'Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice' (Matthew 9:13).
Even more: 'Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!... You have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness' (Matthew 23:23).
Basically, God hates talk without action and trees without fruit. He hates rules that separate His people from The Truth, Who is Jesus. Because Jesus came to free us from everything that ties us to man and divides us from God.
'But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him' (John 4:23).
The curtain rises on actors, models and talent for Christ: a church without a roof starring priests without a pulpit. Your lines? 'The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God' (courtroom witness oath). You are God's 21st century witnesses.
Considering the corruption of our world, how will God direct you into the right roles? Stop, look and listen: 'Your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left' (Isaiah 30:21).
King David got it: 'Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path because of my foes' (Psalm 27:11). 'He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake' (Psalm 23:3). 'Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul' (Psalm 143:8).
The King of kings got it: 'I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My Own will but the will of the Father Who sent Me' (John 5:30). 'So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed' (Luke 5:16).
Actors, models and talent for Christ get it, too. God is your Director. The Holy Spirit is your Coach. Jesus is your Star. Supporting is your role. The Bible is your Script. Fellowship is your agency. Prayer is your connection. Love is your action. Truth is your method. Salvation is your plan. The world is your stage. The lost is your target audience.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Isaiah 61 series.