By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else; and My people shall never be ashamed."Joel 2:25-27and"No weapon that is forged against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord."Isaiah 54:17Today's Read: Joel 2; Isaiah 54-------Christ's tender acts of mercy unfold in a mysterious, miraculous way.While He imposes a seemingly severe strain of difficulty upon our lives at times; yet His comforts of companionship do not lag nor slacken.He tempers periods of discipline with periods of grace;Mixing, meshing and integrating the two so that, in the end, they can hardly be separated.In the books of highlighted passages mentioned above we learn of Israel.Two penetrable and provoking thoughts:1) Sin is serious.Israel's sin was openly discovered and discernable to God and drew His temporal wrath. The suggestion that God isn't angered at our sin flies in the face of who He is and the sincere grief He undergoes in a discourse with a people who move away from Him.God emphatically and desirably calls a people into relationship with Him to experience a depth and camaraderie that sufficiently only He can fill.And together the two are to be one.God maintains His right to secure a people for Himself and unapologetically applies a straightening rod to the curved posture of those unaligned with His glory.He will meter out justice and judgment in forms of variation through "seasons of captivity" in order to return and restore the heart to its rightful owner;God Almighty.And so at times He may replace the feast with the famine,And the miracle with the mildew.He may upset the "apple cart" to better it and relieve it of the rot within.This is to the glory of God.Israel's God is our God, And our experience with Him shall not fall short of theirs if we are of Him.2) God unashamedly loves His own.At the end of sin's discord lies Christ's most available and reachable unifying power: That thread of scarlet bound by the Eternal and holding clean and fast to the child of God, employing strength, support, and sufficient cleansing.There is none to make ashamed whom Christ has sufficiently cleansed. Woe to the nation and individual who suggests a fallacy to the contrary.Shame is Satan's blackmail on the soul set free.Men who work to enforce and utilize such strategy will feel its effects sufficiently and all attempts will backfire repeatedly.This is God's promise on His elect.The unashamed demeanor of God toward His people propels mercy, grace, and cleansing in His wake.And His followers shall transmit the same.Wherever He is, thus is His tenderly loved child;The apple of His eye.The Lion of Judah is no small presence to tread upon;No Holy One to impose blackmail upon.Praise be to the unabashed Mighty and Prevailing One.The great Defender, Ruler, and Redeemer of nations and men.Christ shall prosper;And His followers shall prevail. Praise be to the Lord.-----Three Study Considerations:1) Shame is Satan's blackmail on the soul set free.Steer clear of all who impose it on you.2) God promises to openly defend His own.Don't take the task upon yourself.3) Be encouraged and strengthened by God's word in and to you.Fortify and nurture your soul in Him.
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