Daily Readings & Thought for May 19th. “GOD HAS NOT DESTINED US FOR WRATH”
Today’s readings.. (Joshua 3,4), (Isaiah 9), (1 Thessalonians 5)
We follow on from our thoughts yesterday about our “our hearts being established blameless in holiness” with Paul’s conclusion to his first letter to the Thessalonians where he stresses very strongly to them that “having put on the breastplate of faith … God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us …” [ch. 5 v.8-10]
The wonder of that salvation which those who truly serve God will experience is illustrated for us in today’s chapter in Isaiah (ch. 9) where there are words which have found a prominent place in the famous Oratorio ‘The Messiah.’
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder … of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and with righteousness …” [v.6,7]
We took particular notice of the phrase, “the increase of his government” which implies the spread of his control – and noted Paul’s words today – that when “people are saying , ‘There is peace and ‘security’ then sudden destruction will come upon them” [v.3] People everywhere will feel a more urgent need than today for peace and security, and when they think they are achieving it, then – disaster!
But then, wonderfully, the child who was born, the “Son” of God, returns to rebuild life on earth on divine principles; a complete rebuilding will be necessary. “The increase of his government” indicates this as the general population recovers from the terrible experience of the “sudden destruction.” As we read on in Isaiah we will come across passages such as in ch. 34, of the time coming when “the LORD is enraged against all the nations and furious against all their host (armies); he has devoted them to destruction …”[v.2]
May we all live our lives so that we are among those of whom it will be true to say and experience that, “God has not destined us for wrath,” but to obtain salvation.