Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.”
One of the distinctives of Isaiah is how clearly he expresses God’s love and concern for all mankind, and not just the Jews. Unlike Jonah, who rebelled at the idea of God being merciful to vicious Gentiles, Isaiah seemed to have no problem with God’s grace. He was very clear about God’s righteousness, as comes out so clearly in Chapter 1, but at the same time he countered legalism again and again. I say that as though it were just Isaiah who said these things, but God clearly spoke through him, and here he is quoting God directly. The thing is, he was a willing participant in the message. If we fail to appreciate both God’s holiness and His grace, we will garble what He wants to say through us, and the Gospel will not be transmitted accurately. It’s not unusual for God to say more through someone than that person realizes, such as when Caiaphas said, “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50) However, it is far better when the speaker appropriates the message they are transmitting, and Isaiah seems to have done that.
As I have said recently, Isaiah is perhaps my favorite character in the Old Testament, and the one I would most like to emulate. I have had the privilege many times of speaking out what God has been saying, though seldom in a “Thus sayeth the Lord” format. It is always interesting, and a joy, really, to discover after the fact that I have spoken God’s Truth into someone’s heart and life, when I wasn’t so aware of it at the time. One time sticks in my memory, when the pastor who was conducting the funeral of a dear family friend told me that years before I had said something to him that had changed the whole course of his ministry, when I honestly didn’t remember ever meeting him before! I desire to be fully available for God to use me however He pleases, whether it is speaking or otherwise, so I need to hear and appropriate His words myself. I certainly never want to hear Him say to me, “Depart from me; I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)
Father, I delight to speak Your words, but it is painful when they are not received. I know I have a lot of company in that experience! Help me love You and love others with Your love, so that Your heart may be communicated accurately through me, breaking down the lies with which the devil traps people, setting them free to repent and believe for their salvation, so that Your house may be full indeed, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!