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God told the Israelites that he would give them the promised land, but they to cooperate with him and drive the inhabitants of Canaan out of the area.
Jesus promised humans salvation that was an act of God’s love and grace, but we have to receive his gift for it to make any difference in our lives.
Isaiah promised God’s wonderful deeds on behalf of the Hebrew nation, but God’s promise did not eliminate their part in the matter.
Two of the many promises in the latter chapters of Isaiah are in chapter 62.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married. (Isaiah 62.3-4)
These verses were featured in yesterday’s article. The promises are so magnificent that they are worth repeating.
God will make his people a crown that is held in his loving and powerful hand. Ordinarily, the crown that is worn by royalty is an object of great worth and beauty.
In this case, the crown is secondary to the awesome blessing of being held in the hand of God.
God promises people who have felt forsaken, desolate, and without hope that their fortune will change. God will give them a pet name that reflects the intimacy that will be theirs.
They will be called “My Delight Is in Her.” Forsaken people will experience God’s delight in them.
Our Role in the Promise
The next verses reveal a job description for people who will experience God’s promises.
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have posted sentinels;
all day and all night
they shall never be silent.
You who remind the Lord,
take no rest,
And give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it renowned throughout the earth. (Isaiah 62.6-7)
Nagging is an unflattering word that describes giving someone no rest. However, when God commands us to give him no rest, then it is not nagging but obedience.
Jesus highlighted the role of persistent prayer when he told a parable about a widow.
Jesus told the parable, because we have a “need to pray always and not to lose heart.”
This is the parable: “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.
“In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’
“For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming'” (Luke 18.1-5).
Jesus explained the parable and said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
“And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?
“I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18.6-8).
Even though God has promised to transform Jerusalem and human lives, he insists that we cooperate with his work by asking him to do it.
Jesus emphasized persistent prayer and connected this kind of prayer to genuine faith.
How to Join God in His Work
How can we join God and respond to his promises? Prayer is one of the ways this can and should be done.
Here are some thoughts.
I think it is essential to read the Bible and understand the purposes that under-gird God’s activity.
Suppose you read the Luke 18 passage and wanted to turn Jesus’ words into prayer. You could ask Jesus to help people to not be discouraged with their prayers.
You could pray for people who experience injustice and oppression. Ask God to make their prayers effective.
You could pray that people would not lose their faith, but rely on God in every circumstance.
About This Blog
I have interviewed Rudy Ross on this passage. You can listen to Rudy’s thoughts on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy has outstanding insights and you will be blessed by listening.
Please email your prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.