The Daily Word of Righteousness

Changing Our Strength

Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:1—NIV)

The greatest need of the hour is for God's people to abandon their own abilities, even spiritual abilities, and to depend on Christ in all matters great and small. Many of us have been as far as Pentecost, in God's dealings. Now the issue is raised: do we go forth to save the world or do we come before God with no ability whatever to do or think anything and look to the Lord Jesus Christ for every thought we think, every word we speak, and every step we take?

There is pressure on us, expectations that we are to go out and save the world, empty the hospitals and prisons, and so forth. Are we willing to resist such pressure and wait until we know for certain what Jesus would have us do? Are we willing to have God treat us as He did Abraham and Sarah? Elkanah and Hannah? When everyone else is being "successful"?

Whenever God intervenes in the normal course of things there is a good reason. Whenever righteous people are frustrated, when their prayers and hopes are delayed far beyond that which normally should occur, then God is planning something special for them.

The new Jerusalem, the Presence of God among people, is being formed from those who have suffered at the hand of God until their strength has changed from Adam to Christ.

Isaiah uses the idea of a barren woman to portray a truth that applies to many areas of our life—the idea of God bringing us down to weakness that His strength and wisdom may prevail in place of ours.

Today the barrenness that afflicted Sarah, the mother of Samson, Hannah, and Elizabeth would not appear so grievous. But in those days in that culture barrenness was a dreadful curse. The woman was supposed to present her husband with heirs, with happy boys and girls to insure the strength and delight of the household and the continuation of the family line. To not be able to bless her husband with children brought upon the barren wife a sorrowful reproach.

But when the time came for the men of Kingdom importance such as Isaac, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist to play their role in the Divine plan, it was necessary for God to intervene and cause barrenness so that when the child did appear the birth was unusually significant and dramatic.

So it is with all who are to serve in the new Jerusalem, the rebuilders and maintainers of a world wherein dwells righteousness, where Satan and his ways will have vanished even from the memory of mankind.

The world will never be a decent place for righteous people until the spiritual adversary has been destroyed.

Today I fear we are too rich in our own ways. We speak of God's men of faith and power instead of the faithful and powerful God. We are far too man-centered and must return to the adoration of the Holy One of Israel.

God blesses those who are meekly dependent on Him but turns away those who come filled with their own abilities.

To be continued.