JUNE 7

God’s Eternal Truth

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11; 1 Peter 1:22-25

On June 17, 1859, a freakishly hot northwest wind swept down on the small town of Goleta, California.  The temperature rose to a record 133 degrees by 2 PM and hovered in the 130s for almost three hours.  It was called a simoom, from an Arabic term for a hot, dust-filled, violent wind.  It was both lethal and incredible—with readings and consequences too wild for modern-day skeptics to believe.  Cattle dropped dead.  Birds fell from the sky.  According to a government report, “Fruit was blasted and fell to the ground, burned only on one side, and gardens were ruined.”  The suddenness of the event “struck inhabitants with terror” and people retreated to their homes and closed every window and door.  When people emerged, birds and animals lay dead up and down the coastline.  The simoom withdrew almost as quickly as it emerged.  By 5 PM the temperature was 122 degrees.  By 7 PM it had dropped to a more typical 77 degrees.

That historical event vividly illustrates the truths spoken of in this passage, “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers; the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:6-8).  

God spoke these words through the prophet Isaiah some 2700 years ago. Isaiah chapters 1-39 have to do with Isaiah’s warning to the people of pending judgment. Whereas chapters 40-66 speak of a future restoration. In this context, Isaiah 40:6-8 speaks to our human frailty against the backdrop of the permanence of God’s promises. Everything in this world is transitory. That’s true of Kings and Kingdoms, men and movements, and indeed all of humanity. But the promise God made of a future restoration for His people “will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

It was seven centuries after Isaiah’s day when the Apostle Peter wrote his epistle and quoted from Isaiah.  He was writing to believers who were suffering severe persecution as a direct result of their faith in Christ.  Some were losing their jobs or homes or, in some cases, their lives. They were all too aware of the frailty and transitory nature of their earthly lives, but Peter spoke to them of imperishable things.  They were born again to “a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3), to “an inheritance that is imperishable” (1 Peter 1:4), and through the imperishable seed of “the living and abiding word of God (1 Peter 1:23).  The “good news that was preached” to them was according to the “word of the Lord (which) remains forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

We are now 2700 years removed from Isaiah’s day and 2000 from when Peter wrote his epistle, but the truth that “the word of the Lord remains forever” is no less true or precious than it was to those who have gone on before us.  In an uncertain world where everything is changing so fast, we are encouraged knowing that God’s promises to us never change!  By His word we’ve been born again and according to His sure promise we “set (our) hope fully on the grace to be brought to (us) at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).

It is Albert Barnes has commented: “God’s Word is unmoved, fixed, permanent. Amidst all the revolutions on earth, the fading glories of natural objects, and the wasting strength of man, his truth remains unaffected. Its beauty never fades; its power is never enfeebled. The gospel system is as lovely now as it was when it was first revealed to man, and it has as much power to save as it had when first applied to a human heart.”

In a world where everything passes away, God calls us to be encouraged with the hope of His promises! 

Scott Bashoor

STANDING ON THE PROMISES

Standing on the promises of Christ, my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Refrain:
Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God, my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail.
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. [Refrain]

Standing on the promises of Christ, the Lord,
Bound to him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God. [Refrain]

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List’ning ev’ry moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God. [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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