68 Isaiah / Part 2 (17)

Listen carefully

Isaiah 57:14-19
John 20:26-29
‡T In the middle of obstacle

@When Part 2 of Isaiah was began with Chapter 40, there was it in the beginning, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.". It was a mission of John the Baptist, and especially this prophet heard it with (it shows Jesus, the glory road of the Lord which lets us of the present age reach the salvation). Several years later, this prophet repeats a same thing as it in Chapter 57. "Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstacle out of the way of My people."(14) Severe words of this prophet in 56:9-57:13 will be one end of the "obstacle". A message of this prophet reaches us when a person getting rid of the obstacle from "people of God" is "a servant of the Lord". And Isaiah has begun to tell a blessing given through thorny atonement of a servant. A blessing to "weak people" is told in Chapter 56 particularly, and it was invitation to the foreigner and eunuchs who despaired when they were separated from people of God distantly, but, it seems to be overlapped by such people and to be talked about us in Chapter 57.

@"For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy,"(57:15) Various adjectives are put on God in the Old Testament, but the adjective that Isaiah used here deserves attention. Above all, I want to pay attention to an adjective of "The One who lives forever,". I hear it is a central message of here that "He invites us to a house of the eternity".

@"Bed" comes out at the first half of Chapter 57 many times, but it is a house of "obstacle". "The One who lives forever", it seems to be told contrasted with that "house of obstacle". When Israel settled in Cannan, they accepted Baal, gods of land, because it was saying gods (breeding God) of an abundant harvest they ran in immoral conduct such as orgy (For example, a sexual orgy of man and woman is done in front of gods. Or the sibyl was a prostitute) which was common religion of the worship of agriculture God from ancient times. Surely such madness way would swell to the times of Isaiah in Israel extremely greatly. "Obstacle" hints at it. Israel got intense anger from God and prophets for it, but perhaps while putting it on top of condemnation to Israel here, Isaiah does condemnation to us of the present age. I feel that the times of the present age goes toward orgy similar to them, no, toward audacity without God, it is much more than sexual disorder, contempt of life and greed ...... Would such our present age be reflected in eyes of this prophet? It is not a mysterious thing at all. Because the present age "lives" in the center of "obstacle", and we are there.

‡U The road of solace

@However, God is going to invite such us to "the house of eternity". Whom does He invite? I want to hear the message which Isaiah tells here. "The house of eternity" (Japanese translation), it had better say, "the One who is forever" and "the place God lives". And there is it, "He has also set eternity in their heart," (Ecclesiastes 3:11). If we stare at God, surely we will see such distant world. The Old Testament does not have the way of speaking that we called heaven or a God's country, but beautiful way of speaking for it is really rich. A general idea of "eternity" is told with a level of the people in that time. The modern people who can watch only a momentary thing must become more modest.

@That house of eternity is expressed in other words in "high and holy place". "I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."(15). Perhaps, I think it agrees with "the contrite and lowly spirit" itself, and this prophet will say that only the person who humbled himself and assumed low is invited to the highly sacred place where God lives. However, humbling oneself and to admit that one's crime is a crime before God, it is very important, but we do not need to send Israel on an example, it is very difficult to humble oneself. No, perhaps, it might be impossible rather than difficult. Human being becomes stubborn too much in front of God. However, God withdraws one step or two steps, and says "For I will not contend forever, neither will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before Me, and the breath of those whom I have made."(16). Both "soul" and "spirit" hint us who were created by God, but, we can never stand before anger of God. God agreed it well well, and set for us the road of solace.

‡V Listen carefully

@However, for a human being, it is thoroughly difficult to stare at the road of God. "Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him (while suppressing oneself); I hid My face and was angry, and he went on turning away, in the way of his heart."(17) When we hear it in this way, will not it be the present age itself? However, God said. "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,"(18) When I look at here, it is felt that God's encounter seeing and person's selfish walking crosses each other many
times, and it is felt also the patience of God itself in the Israeli history. God wore His pity many times on them. And it is completely the same for us, but, I imagine that the will of God gradually would harden sending a servant of the Lord. It would become clear that He could not save us covered with a crime, unless with final one-off pity / comfort from God.

@It is said "healing" and "comfort". I remember one place which was written "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, tat we might di to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (‡TPeter 2:24). But a crime owes a wound to oneself at the same time to injure another person. No, we had better say that one's wound was hard to heal it deeply all the time. I want modern people to notice this. And it will be comprehension in having suffered from a crime, it is necessary to comfort the person for whom healing is necessary. Jesus Himself became that "healing" and "comfort". It was the last and one-off pity of God, however, and it is enough. Because Jesus has become that pity by His own life.

@"'Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,' Says the Lord, 'and I will heal him.'"(19) "Peace", this is declaration of God. I want you to hear this declaration by all means. There is power for declaration of God. If you listen carefully, you can hear that voice, "I will heal you!". "The praise of the lips", it will be a singing voice who praise God, and thanks from a heart forgiven a crime, or prayer of such people gotten peace. When I tell this message, I wish it will be "the praise of the lips" given by God. Surely, it will be born such a praise on the lips of the people who was comfort. Perhaps it will be the people who lost sight of God and despair. "Who is near" "who is far", surely it will be the people who lost God, and despaired. And the Lord of the cross and revival will whisper "I am near to you. Peace!". If you have uneasiness and suffer and despair, shall you hear the voice of such healing, appearing? While sending expectation from our heart to the house of eternity that God invites.