Highlights In Today's Reading:
The message from God to Jerusalem is to repent. But, instead, they party (22:12-13). Tyre, the greatest trade importer-exporter will fall — why (23:8-9)? God reveals distress on earth and a remnant spared (Chapter 24). Israel will be restored from slavery and the Lord will be praised (Chapters 25-26).
The Author of true peace is none other than our Lord, the God of peace (Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9). His peace is illustrated as a river that swells and rolls onward until it carries sin and sorrow away as far as the east is from the west (they never meet as do north and south) (Psalm 103:12) — to be remembered no more (Hebrews 10:17). Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee (Isaiah 26:3). In every trial the child of God is enabled to rejoice in the Lord knowing the Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:4-5).
If His perfect peace is to be experienced we must be born again and trust ourselves in sincere, childlike faith to Christ, the source of all true peace. Jesus said: As many as received Him . . . were born . . . of God (receive the spiritual nature of God). Except a man be born again, he cannot . . . enter into the Kingdom of God (John 1:12-13; 3:3-18).
Many believers are actually experiencing unnecessary frustration through manifold temptations, sorrows, suffering, and disappointments that overshadow Christ's presence. His peace becomes more like the uncertain weather or wind on a dark night. Why is this? Sometimes (for our best spiritual benefit) God has been pleased to withdraw our assurance of His presence for a season as He did with Job (Job 23:8-9). No chastening (trial, all discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous (painful, most unpleasant): nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness (His peace) unto them which are exercised thereby (been trained by it to allow their faith to overcome all fears) (Hebrews 12:11). Now faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (11:1). His presence does not depend on our feelings, which are as changeable as the clouds, but in the unchangeableness of His love.
Our independent, self-sufficient human nature does not willingly renounce its self-sufficiency.
His peace is experienced when we recognize that no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). So in the midst of all the conflicts of life, a Christian may have perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) when we are in submission to the Lord of peace (II Thessalonians 3:16). Our circumstances often are not pleasant, but we can be satisfied knowing that in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (Romans 8:37).
Thought for Today:
We often forfeit His peace by choosing to disobey His Word. Disobedience causes guilt and guilt robs us of His peace.
By Eliakim, master of Hezekiah's household (Isaiah 22:20-22); what was said of him is true of Christ who is Master over the household of faith. Christ . . . a Son over His own house; whose house are we (Hebrews 3:6; Galatians 6:10).
22:2 stirs =b> full of shoutings; 23:13 raised up =b> destroyed; 24:7 mourneth =b> laments; 24:15 fires =b> dawning light; 24:19 clean dissolved =b> split open; 24:23 ancients =b> elders; 26:7 weigh =b> make smooth and straight, prepare.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Charles & Jo Van Boskirk • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Official: Rep. Michael Doyle (PA) • Country: Belarus (10 million) in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Belarussian and Russian • Religious freedom • 48% Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jewish; 1% Protestant; .2% Muslim; 27.7% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask God to show you His ways (Ex. 33:13).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 13
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:12