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Defeating Dread

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Isaiah 8:11-22

 

THE WARNING (and assurance) that God speaks in Isaiah 8 to ‘the house of David’ proves extremely relevant for us today. The prophet’s God-breathed message came at a time when 2 enemies were teaming up to siege and destroy Jerusalem. Hearing this, “the hearts of the people shook like trees in the wind”  Isa7:2.

NO KIDDING! These threats would freak anybody out. Imagine a breaking news caption on TV, “World War III has just begun…”

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BUT GOD sends comforting words through His prophet…

  • Do not walk in the way of the people/culture/generation
  • Do not label as conspiracy what the people fear is a conspiracy (11-12)
    He exposes a godless and fearful view of the world’s circumstances.

TO ALIGN MY THOUGHTS with what makes people around me afraid all but defies my faith in a sovereign God. And speaking in a way that provokes people to dread–wars, famines, diseases—denies the fact we have a God who can and does re-work, re-route, and reverse all of man’s evil doings, hidden and visible.

  • The Lord of hosts you shall hallow (honor Jesus’s name) and fear only God.
  • Let God be your dread— (v.13)

HOW DO I ALIGN my “ways” so that, through me, God will be the thing the world dreads over man’s threats?
I either believe God is all He says He is or I do not. I want my life of faith to be a testimony not only to God’s kindness and goodness but also His omnipotence and omniscience in the face of ‘rumors of wars,’ diseases, terrorist threats.

TO THOSE WHO fear God and trust Him in dire times, He is an ‘indestructible asylum’ (v.14 amplified version).

GOD: the indestructible place of absolute safety

 

“When they say to you: ‘Consult the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter,’ shouldn’t a people seek their God? Should a people consult the dead on behalf of the living?” v.19

There is NO LIGHT in the futile, spiritual, and sometimes religious pursuit of palm readers, fortune tellers, and the like in an attempt to understand and find peace amid chaos. The evidence of mental/emotional dissatisfaction and destruction that comes from seeking ‘spiritual’ things other than God is prevalent even today:

“They will pass this way that are hard-pressed and hungry, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will become enraged and curse their king and their God. Whether they turn their faces upward or look to the earth, behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and they will be driven into darkness.” vv. 21-22

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MY MOTHER CHOSE daily to read the police blotter religiously and monitor storms minute-by-minute. On that soul-deadening diet, it’s not a surprise that she lived in fear all her life. Do you devour the daily news to keep up on the disasters and filling our minds with the evil happening around the world? Are you numbing on medication, strong drink or video games?

THEN YES, whoever does these things will end up unsatisfied and starved, and this starvation will stir up internal rage which will lead to blame. Blame the president. Blame Isis. Blame God. No matter where we look in times of trouble—if it’s not looking to God and God alone—we will be consumed by distress, gloom, anguish, and eventually…driven into darkness.

Utter darkness and confusion — the unnatural condition of a world without God.

 

But God…

The Lord’s knees do not buckle at the threats, nor can evil catch Him off guard.
His Greatness and Strength are so incomprehensible that we are unable to see these living attributes in action with our natural eyes.

(See the Scriptures below): This is where I choose to align my thoughts, and to live within His Greatness, covered by His Strength. How about you?

 

Are you sucked into the ‘conspiracy’ mindset?
Are you wanting a Heavenly reboot?
My friends, in Christ, you are COVERED.
And you are greatly loved beyond your wildest imagination.

The Way of the Embattled Spirit

 

But let all who take refuge in you (God) be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11 

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:1

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.  2Thessalonians 3:3

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

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2 Responses to “Defeating Dread”

  1. Pat Johnston says:

    Julie thank you so much. We all are in danger of distorted thinking if we fill our minds with the “wisdom” of the world, whether it be social media, news media and the like. Every day I have to “think about what I am thinking about.”

    Col. 3:1-3 “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

  2. J.A. Marx says:

    Thanks Pat. And “Hidden” is a great place to be. Untouchable and destined for unending peace.

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