Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed. Isaiah 61:9
In this verse is both a declaration and a promise. A covenant God declaring that our descendants will be known, not just within our block, nearby shops and workplace but throughout the earth. Beyond our reach and beyond what we can see. And that everyone who sees these descendants will recognize not only that they’re the Lord’s but that they’ve been blessed by him.
I can’t help but be reminded of God’s faithfulness to his people and to his own word.
How God is not a God who would say something and forget.
Or go back on his word.
Or not come through.
Within the 10 commandments, we find a commandment that sounds very much like Isaiah 61:10, which ALSO happens to come with a promise.
In Exodus 20:12, we read “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
In all of the other commandments, they were exactly that - commandments.
But in the 5th commandment, you see an “if/then” and a “so that.”
Honor your parents SO THAT.
So that you may live long in the land that the Lord is giving you.
If we honor, if we follow, if we trust this command, if we know that God is the God of promise and who cannot go against His own word, then God will...
This commandment comes with – do this first.
Almost a “and see what I’m capable of” sort of a statement.
God cannot break his own covenant.
He cannot go against his own word.
He WILL not go against any promise that He has made.
But how much more will WE benefit and possibly get to SEE and reap the benefit of this by first honoring?!
We have a faithful God reminding us that He declares and will deliver on his promises.
He hasn’t failed us yet.
And he will go on being faithful.
The scriptures SHOUT of his promises and the evidences of his faithfulness through ALL generations.
I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
Exodus 20:6 MSG
Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations.
Deuteronomy 7:9 MSG
And I’m sure we can all look at our own lives and recount the many ways the Lord has shown up.
Probably not usually early.
But never late.
What a gentleman!
And how so many times, we’ve seen that he loves to even SURPRISE us.
Giving us more than we expected.
Beyond what we asked for and beyond what our minds could fathom.
In Isaiah 61:9, we see the words:
I think the Lord is saying that the whole earth is the Lord’s, and the whole earth will be filled with his name and renown.
But like the 5th commandment, I believe there is also an “if/then” and a “watch and see what I will do if..” situation here.
Have you heard it said that we are God’s plan A, and there is no plan B?
I believe wholeheartedly that God can and WILL speak and work through ANY and everything.
All of creation exists to shout his praise.
The rocks will cry out in our place if we don’t worship.
I mean, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want rocks to take my place in worshiping God.
God’s plan A is us.
He wants to use US in spreading his name and fame.
SO THAT all people will know we are his and that we are blessed by him.
It’s by seeing his people that the world will know.
If you’re like me, in my flesh and when I’m driving or upset (perhaps even justifiably) over the way I was treated or irritated over how long it’s taking for my order to come out or waiting on a delayed flight or [insert anything here], the person I just honked at or talked back to (and those evil words and feelings that overtake us that we may not even express outloud) certainly isn’t going to see any kind of Jesus in me. #JesusTakeTheWheel
So maybe it’s not just seeing US (our fleshly selves) but seeing his people love God and love people. It probably looks a lot like dying to ourselves and taking on what is best known as the greatest commandment.
Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
In dying to self, I can’t lose!
In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
In John 13:34-35, Jesus says - Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.
Throughout all of the old testament, starting even in the Garden of Eden where there was total unbroken fellowship and communion with God and where there literally was only one law, we encounter the many laws and then pretty much everything consolidated down into the 10 commandments.
There were priests that had to go to God on behalf of the people.
Atonement and sacrifices had to be made for sin.
And here in John 13 and Matthew 22, Jesus simplifies all of the laws once again – love one another. In the same way he loved us.
And in so doing, everyone will RECOGNIZE. SEE. ACKNOWLEDGE…
That we are his disciples.
No longer do we need someone else to go to God on our behalf.
We had a once and for all sacrifice that was paid in the form of Jesus’ death on the cross SO THAT we could have unbroken communion with God once again.
Through Jesus Christ, Word made flesh and perfect love made incarnate, who lived a sinless life, God provided the ultimate sacrifice – letting his one and only son take on the sins of the entire world - not just so we can be saved but so we can be the very extension of his love for all who do not yet know this great love.
We [praise God] live in new testament and post-resurrection days, and no longer do we have thousands of laws to recount and remember for everything now falls under the greatest commandment now!
And I believe that in order for Isaiah 61:9 to continue to populate and reach the ends of the earth, it is STILL in fact, through us, his people, by the way we love God and love people.
Our descendants will be known among the nations and our offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.
Oh God, that we might live as people who are in love! Let that be our heart’s cry:
To live as people who are in love! In love with God and with love for people!
And all who see his people will acknowledge and recognize we are His very love reflected.