God’s Zeal; December 4, 2022

Isaiah 9:7 The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Many prophecies in the Bible seem absolutely incredible to us, and we wonder how on earth they could ever come to pass. Well, here we have a succinct answer. We forget, emotionally at least, that God is the Lord Almighty. (The Japanese sticks with the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of all militaries.) He had to remind Jeremiah, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) Likewise, Gabriel said to Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) We keep having to be reminded of that! If Jeremiah and Mary needed such reminders, we shouldn’t feel too bad about it! Another issue is maintaining assurance of what God has said. If things are a long time coming to pass, we can feel doubt that we heard or understood correctly in the first place. We do need to remember that God’s time frame isn’t the same as ours, (2 Peter 3:8) but never doubt that if God said it, that settles it, period. Delays in fulfillment can really test, stretch, and grow our faith, and that’s what they’re for. God doesn’t tease us, but He’s not big on instant gratification. Some miracles are indeed instantaneous, but they are more the exception than the rule. Jesus waited several days to raise Lazarus for a reason. He had already done many miracles of healing, and that’s what Mary and Martha were wanting and expecting, but He had something much greater in mind, as John’s record makes clear. (John 11) To get back to this verse, we don’t use the word, zeal, very much these days, or its adjective form, zealous. The Japanese word for it is literally, “hot heart.” The point is, God cares about things, and if He cares, since He’s omnipotent, it happens. The way it happens may be totally outside of our imagination, but we can count on it nonetheless.

I once gave a predictive prophecy that even I wondered about at the time. I told a couple (who weren’t even formally engaged at the time) that they would have a child, but that for some reason I wasn’t sure whether it would be his child. I was, however, confident that it would be hers. What I didn’t know was that she had had a hysterectomy! They just wrote it off as my imagination, and did go on to get married. She had been previously married, and her daughter by that marriage got into drugs and then got pregnant, and since she was obviously an unfit mother, a court gave full custody of the child to the couple over whom I had prophesied, and they signed formal adoption papers. I was already in Japan at that point and knew nothing about it, but my wife went to the US for something and ran into the couple, and they were effusive over how my prophecy had come true. We very literally cannot imagine how God is going to fulfill what He says, but we can have full assurance that he is going to fulfill it.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s very easy to get distracted by immediate circumstances. Help me remember Your zeal and Your omnipotence at all times, resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You, just as You have told me to do, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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