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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Importance of Fruit, #11
To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:9,10—NIV)
Notice that we are not getting great promises now of spreading out to the right and left and dispossessing nations. Rather the promises are directed toward our relationship with God. It makes sense, doesn't it? Before we can bring forth eternal fruit we first must become rightly related to God. Maybe the fruit we shall bear now will be of greater quantity and better quality than if we had been instantly successful as a young minister. We have come to know God and God has come to know us. It really is worth it all but I would not care to go through it again.
O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. (Isaiah 54:11,12—NIV)
What do you know! Our barren woman has become the new Jerusalem, the moral light of the world.
Through Job's painful trial millions have been comforted during their struggle with God, and Job himself profited in his knowledge of God.
Through Abraham's travail the Seed gained victory over the enemy and the nations have been blessed.
Through Jacob's struggle Israel received its name, though Jacob was left lame.
Through Hannah's ordeal Samuel, the great judge of Israel, was born.
Through Christ's agony the creation was redeemed.
Through Paul's crucifixion the epistles were written that have changed the course of world history.
Through the humiliation of barrenness the saints have become the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb.
This is the way God works.
The precious stones found in the foundations, battlements, and walls are the elements of character that have been wrought in the saints as they have labored under heat and pressure. There shall be an actual city, I have no doubt. But it is clear to me that the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb, is just that—the glorified Christian Church.
All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. (Isaiah 54:13—NIV)
If you are remaining faithfully in the darkness and fire where God has placed you, why don't you claim the above verse for your children?
But for those who insist on managing their own salvation . . .
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50:11—NIV)
To be continued.