Isaiah 4

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Isaiah 4 (July 24, 1996)

by Teresa Seputis

The Lord quickened Isaiah 4 to me today. It has this wonderful promise of the manifest presense of the Lord in it:

"Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain." (Is 4:5-6).

If you remember, the cloud (or pillar) of smoke by day and of fire by night was how God led His people Israel through the wilderness. It was His manifest presense among them. So, the Lord is promising a time when His manifest presense will be on all who assemble in His name.

But there is a condition that they must go through for cleansing/holiness first. Check out verse 3-4:

"Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called Holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion, He will clease the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgement and a spirit of fire." (Is 4:3-4)

As I read that, I remembered thinking, "Ouch! That is a terrible thing to go through to be purified." I remembered the judgements that fell on Israel and the death and destruction and misery that came to them. I started thinking, "Gee, Lord, do you have to hurt us before You can use us?"

The Lord seemed to answer by reminding me of some lessons I'd learned about 7 monthes ago regarding Judgement. I had read "The Final Quest" by Rick Joyner, where He had said that the process of judgement (at least while we are still living) is not really about rewards/punishements. It is about being realigned to do things His way. Coming under His judgement means turning from things that are not His way to those things which are His way. It means leaving go of things we value that He does not value and embracing what He values. If we will cooperate willingly with Him in this, it does not have to be a terrible process. But if we resist, He will turn up the pressure to help us turn back to His way.

The Lord started reminding me how I'd responded to the verse "Judge yourselves now so that you will not be judged later." I had asked Him to come judge me now, since I was not so sure I could judge myself accurately. Right after I did that, I ended up doing something stupid and rebellious. After I came back to my senses, I was sure that He was going to punish me... after all, I'd just prayed for Him to judge me a few days before. But He spoke love and mercy and restoration instead and filled me with an increased awareness of His presense on me. I really expected to get "clobbered" but there was love and mercy. Why was there love and mercy instead of punishment? It was because I was willing to turn from my rebellion back to Him and to be in charge of how things were done. I was willing to do it His way.

In short, judgement and punishment do not become synonyms unless we refuse to repent and to realign with His way of doing things (at least while we are still alive and here on earth -- I am not sure how this all works out after we die, having not done that yet.)

Then there is that verse about the spirit of fire. When I frist heard it, I was reminded of how painful it is to be burned. So my first impression of that verse was that it was a painful process. The thing about fire is that it consumes things. And there is much in our lives that needs to be consumed. We need to let go of our selfishness, of our rebellion, of our pride, of those secret sins, and on and on. In the bible, the effects of being in the fire were often considered to be purity. For instance, the buring coal was touched to Isaiah's lips to purify his mouth so that he could speak God's words. In short, Isaiah went through the fire and was consecrated to God for His use. Likewise, we must be willing to let go of those things we hold that are in the way of being used by God. We must become consecrated to Him. The good news is that He knows we cannot do this by our own power/strenght. So He sends His indwelling Holy Spirit to transform us to be more like Jesus.

So, to summarize:

God has given us the opportunity to live with His manifest presense on us. But if we want to reside in His manifest presense, we must align ourselves with His way of doing things and must release those things in our lives that displease Him and hold us back. We must consecrate ourselves to Him.


- teresa

-- © GodSpeak International 1996 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <> --

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