God Goes Before Us
Date: October 5, 2021
I think we can all agree that we have never seen times like these before in our once “one nation under God.” The more division, evil, and attacks on Christianity, the more we are inclined to think that this is what we deserve. This is what happens when a nation falls away from biblical principles. However true that is, as I was reading God’s precious words this morning, I was once again comforted. I was once again reminded of His unrelenting love, undeserved care, grace and protection. Maybe you all could use a good dose of that as well!
Let’s look at Isaiah 45:1-7:
“This is what the Lord says to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you have not acknowledged me. I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I form the light and create darkness. I bring prosperity and create disaster. I the Lord do all these things.”
When the Lord addresses His “anointed,” we tend to think of special people, those chosen for a distinct purpose…Those who are hand chosen, called and summoned by the Lord for His good and mighty purpose. Well guess what? We are all hand chosen! His anointed simply means His children! That means you, it means me and it was determined and sealed forever at the cross of Jesus Christ! So whenever we see scripture refer to the “anointed,” we can take honor and privilege in that!
1 John 2:27a states, “As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you…” Isn’t that an amazing thought? We need not ever worry or be concerned that we will ever lose it, for it is promised that it will remain. Signed, sealed and delivered till we are in the arms of Jesus.
Apart from just those few words this chapter in Isaiah brings me much comfort today. It is the exact reminder I needed right now. It announces the beautiful, tender mercy of God! Are we looking for His mercy today? Do we not desperately need it? With all the evil that is becoming so rampant, and our nation’s falling away from our biblical roots and love for God, I sometimes think God cannot, nor will not forgive us. Yet note verse 5: “I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you though you have not acknowledged me.”
Those words really comfort me and I hope they do you as well. There is no need for me to wonder how on earth my family, my grandchildren or any of us will get through these times. The only answer we need are in those beautiful words, “I will strengthen you,” and yes even though this nation has turned its back on Him!
This key phrase was used several times in these short few verses: “I WILL…!” That is a promise! It doesn’t say maybe He will. One of those promises (which we’ve heard before) is that He will go before us. Do we ever stop to think and meditate on what that really means?
I live on a little lake. I often see the sweetest display of love as I look out my kitchen window. A mama duck goes before and leads the way with her adorable little babies all in a perfect row behind her. Is that mama going to lead those babies into danger? Will she protect them from harm? A God-given instinct is placed simply upon a mama duck, and yet how much more so does God do this for us! If He always goes before us, all we need to do is trail behind Him. We can rest in His protection and care knowing He would never lead us into danger.
The Lord carefully makes things appear impossible for us, so we will know it is only by His power that we can prevail. The depths of His merciful deeds are absolutely endless, even when we continually mess up. He is eager to unfold and put on display the dimensions of His endless grace! I think this is where we are today!
As He goes before us in all that we do, I can’t help but wonder at how tremendous a benefit we have in this. Our tomorrows can only promise us only one thing…He is already there!
This experience I had last night is just a small example of what it means to be led, a tiny moment in the vast and endless grace of God’s leading!
Anyone who knows me knows I have a tough time when it comes to taking the freeways in the dark. Let’s just say my eyesight is not what it used to be, even with the help of my magnifying lenses I call glasses. I went to a dear friend’s daughter’s wedding yesterday. Hubby was out of town so off I went in broad daylight! Easy peasy! Although an hour drive on crazy California freeways can be quite adventurous, I felt pretty comfortable during the day; however, the way home was a totally different story. It was now dark and I was a bit nervous! So, I started to pray, “Lord make this as easy as possible! Please be my pilot! Guide me home!”
There were five busy freeway interchanges I needed to take to get home. That’s why this seems so funny to me. As I was merging onto my first freeway, I was basically cut off at the last minute by a tall white van with tons of lights on its back. It almost looked like an ambulance. It literally lit the way for me, especially on one highway in particular that goes through a very dark canyon. And it was going only 60 miles an hour as hundreds of cars sped past! I soon found comfort in following him because of his lights, and it gave me an excuse to drive slowly. What are the odds that I ended up following him all the way to the very last freeway before getting off near my home? I basically had an escort for 60 plus miles on all those freeways. This someone went before me and illuminated my path, actually going my speed!
Silly analogy, I know! As silly as it is though, I cannot tell you the comfort it brought me. And obviously the Lord brought me home safely! If I can find comfort in something so trivial, how much more should the promise of my Heavenly Father going before In the big things bring me? He is that vessel that guides, leads and comforts us during the days we just don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel safe! He is the beacon of light ahead of us in this dark and unpredictable world, and He promises to lead us all the way home safe and sound!
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.
But you will not leave in haste or go in flight, for the Lord will go before you. The guard of Israel will be your rear guard.
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing! Now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
It is certainly obvious that our times are stirring the hearts of Christians, and even those who never knew Him. Perhaps this may be the only purpose God has for what’s happening in our world. We may never understand, but thank the Lord He does! So let us continue in His strength and hold tight to His leading. He will not let us down. He says, “Just follow me.” Dear Lord, help us to do so all the days of our lives! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Delighting in safe pasture,