Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 7, 2017

“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 2:1-11.

“The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.

5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
6 For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with influences from the east,
And they are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.
7 Their land has also been filled with silver and gold
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land has also been filled with horses
And there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land has also been filled with idols;
They worship the work of their hands,
That which their fingers have made.
9 So the common man has been humbled
And the man of importance has been abased,
But do not forgive them.
10 Enter the rock and hide in the dust
From the terror of the Lord and from the splendor of His majesty.
11 The proud look of man will be abased
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”  Isaiah 2:1-11.

————————-

The hope in verses 1-4 is not based on man coming to his senses.  Verses 5-11 make it clear that man will be humbled.

“The proud look of man will be abased
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”  Verse 11.

Rather, the hope in verses 1-4 is based on God’s sovereignty and reign that after God’s judgment of the nations in which man is humbled and the LORD alone is exalted, there will be such peace and universal focus and seeking of the LORD and His ways in Heaven.

Heaven is a place of righteousness, peace, and joy.  “… the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 14:17.  “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;  and there will no longer be any death;  there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;  the first things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4.

Consistent with that Scripture are the following verses in today’s Scripture.

“And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”  Verse 3.

“… And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.”  Verse 4.

We may think that Heaven is open for everyone.  But, “… do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived;  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  Such were some of you;  but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

Consistent with that Scripture is the following verse in today’s Scripture which condemned the lack of focus on the LORD and His ways.

“For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with influences from the east,
And they are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.”  Verse 6.

In summary, our hope is not based on what man can do on earth.  Our hope is based on God bringing us Heaven in which righteousness dwells.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”  2 Peter 3:10-13.

All these (people of faith who please God) died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.  And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God;  for He has prepared a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:13-16.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”  Philippians 3:20-21.

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