Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A short devotion on Isaiah 41:8-10

8 But you, Israel, are My servant,  
  Jacob whom I have chosen, 
  The descendants of Abraham My friend.
  You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,  
  And called from its farthest regions,
  And said to you, 
 
9 ‘You are My servant,  
   I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
  Fear not, for I am with you;  
  Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  
  I will strengthen you,  Yes, I will help you,  
  I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Such a powerful and encouraging statement from the mouth of the Lord! Firstly we are told of God's encountering Israel.  This is no accidental meeting.  In his sovereignty God, of His own pleasure, chose Israel.  This is so significant that he repeats it in verse 9.

Have you ever thought how comforting the doctrine of election can be?  And though we do not merit this attention, yet He has some expectation for us - as He calls us twice - just as in choosing His servants.  To be a servant implies service.  We are not told or elaborated upon what the service is, however, is it not apparent that the choice is not based upon the serving?

Consider what the tenor of the passage is... It is to encourage the chosen.   I have called you, taken you, not cast you off, and will strengthen you!  Indeed, he says He will "uphold you with my righteous right hand" Not only do we not get His attention by merit, we do not keep it through our work, He keeps us!

It is true, that we can see our good works are a blessing to others and to ourselves, but not to keep His attention. Indeed our works are but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) before a righteous judge such as He -- these works simply testify to ourselves and others of the amazing work that our God has done in us!
 
Father, let me never take for granted your choice of me!  Amen.

Originally published 13 April 2011 at 13:19 here:

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