Sunday, August 2, 2009

Make Mention -Isaiah 63

"I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD,
the praises of the LORD,
according to all that the LORD has granted us,
and the great goodness toward the house of Israel,
which He has granted them according to His compassion,
and according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.
For He said, 'Surely, they are My people,
sons who will not deal falsely.'
So He became their Savior.
In all their affliction He was afflicted,
and the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them;
and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old."

In our distresses it is a good thing to "make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD." It's amazing how easily I can remember the hard and annoying rocks of my life and how difficult it seems to be to hold onto the wonderful stones of remembrance that God has faithfully laid. Ed Hartman, in his book "Homeward Bound," says that we tend to write the trials and afflictions and difficulties in stone while writing the blessings and mercies and lovingkindnesses of God in the dust. Recently I've had cause to stop and realize how necessary the Ebenezer's are and how desperately I need to set my gaze upon them - in stone!

Chapter 63 begins with the prophetic warning of God's vengeance that will be unleashed on the nations. It speaks of Christ coming in His holy zeal and justly dealing with the sins of man. That ought to make us all quake in our boots, for we are all guilty. Yet for those who are fleeing to Christ as the sure source of refuge there is therefore now no condemnation. Therefore, if we are in Christ and we find ourselves fearful then it would do us a world of good to stop and remember who He is and what He has done on our behalf.

Isaiah is going to dwell on God's lovingkindness and not only one lovingkindness but lovingkindnesses - plural. God's goodness to us is plenteous and abundant. The streams of this river are full and ever flowing. Pause to drink of this fount and let it move you to praise the Lord. He is good to His people, even in the difficult things of this life.

Notice that we are not only to dwell on His lovingkindnesses but we are to make mention of them. We need to talk about them. We need to talk about Him. We don't dwell nor speak nearly enough of our God to ourselves or to others. Christian, in your discouragements pause and determine to make mention of His lovingkindnesses to you. Count ALOUD "all that the LORD has granted us."

Take your eyes off the trials of the moment and gaze at what He has granted you according to His compassion. He gives good things, He accomplishes good things, He works all things together for good because He is good. His compassionate character is the source of His compassionate gifts. They are "according to His mercies and not our merits." (Henry). Therefore may the mention made of His lovingkindnesses drive us to worship the author of lovingkindnesses.

The greatest of His lovingkindnesses is that He became our Savior. This holy and compassionate God's lovingkindesses are so great that He gave Himself as the propitiation of our sins. He stood in our place. He bore our griefs and sorrows. Here Isaiah says "In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in his mercy He redeemed them."

Not only did He redeem His people but he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Christ doesn't simply pull us out of the pit and give us a spit shine and send us on our merry way. No, when Christ saves His people He lifts them up and carries them forever - all the way into eternity. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Hallelujah! What lovingkindnesses! Christian - go forth and make mention of this good news this day and every day!

Man of sorrows! what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned He stood,
sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
spotless Lamb of God was He;
full atonement! Can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Lifted up was He to die,
"It is finished!" was His cry;
now in heav'n exalted high:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
When He comes, our glorious King,
all His ransomed home to bring,
then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Phillip Bliss, 1875

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