No weapon that is formed 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 . – Is. 54:17 KJV
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The scripture for today’s devotion is part of God’s promise as pronounced by the Prophet Isaiah and directed to two specific groups of people, the barren (Is. 54:1) and the afflicted who is tossed from side to side and not comforted (Is. 54:11) and whose sources of affliction can be traced to the Almighty God. The scripture reveals God’s promise of deliverance and hope. He admits that he it is that afflicted them (Is. 54:6-10) and he also is the one promising deliverance.
The Lord revealed that even in that situation of affliction, His love never departed promising restoration and protection over such a person and the family. He promised to provide succour to the barren (Is. 54:2-5) and establish the afflicted in His righteousness and there will be no need to fear any terror even when it shows up. He reveals that there will be terror no doubt but He, the Lord did not permit it and so when enemies gather all those evidences against such person(s), it will not be effective because He it is that provided the evidence in the first place and so will be ineffective because of the righteousness that they have acquired – Is. 54:12-16.
He closed that chapter which contains this great message of hope for all people with the scripture for today which contains the following highlights;
1. This hope is a heritage.
2. This hope is for all servants of the Lord.
3. This hope is the result of their inherited righteousness
Although the message of hope came for the group of people listed earlier, every other person that fulfils the condition of becoming a righteous person can also ride high on this hope with inherited righteousness available to those who are servants of the Lord.
All those who have attained the state of righteousness through other means, if it is possible will not need this route to assessing this great tool of victory but I really wonder if any human being can lay any claim to righteousness through any other route. The Bible says all our righteous acts are like filthy rags before him (Is. 64:6), so the most reasonable path will be through this inheritance route.
As human beings, we are always transgressing the laws of God and God Himself because he loves us and does not want us destroyed will always rebuke us – Ps. 30:5; 118:18. His intention remains that we should live and not die in our sins – Heb.12:6.
That period of rebuke from the Lord can be a very tough phase in our life as it tends to provide opportunity for the enemy to run all kinds of negative commentaries on us or go further and take the opportunity to humiliate us by inflicting their own pain on us. Yet it is a time that we are expected to remain calm and bear our punishment knowing that the Lord God is compassionate and will not allow us to be handed over unto death – Lam. 3:26-31. Most Christians lose faith during this phase in life either because they want to deny that they deserve what they are getting as judgement from the Lord or they are not just ready to subject themselves to the rebuke of God like a servant to a master.
The scripture reveals that patience and perseverance during this period of rebuke will always be followed by compassion and restoration for those who have always seen and accepted themselves, in thoughts, words and deeds as servants of the Lord. This is because the Lord will confer on such people, His righteousness. This means that during this period of rebuke a righteousness worked for by another (Rom. 1:17; 3:21) is conferred on them as an inheritance if they are deemed to have been serving faithfully and their sins get covered – Ps. 32:1. In this new condition, no one can refer to any of those transgressions again as all such records have been covered by God and so cannot be accessed. The Devil and his agents will make allegations and try to buttress their allegations with those transgressions but there will be no evidence to support their accusations as the accused now projects the image of a righteous individual. In that state all weapons or allegations brought by the enemy cannot be proven and such accusers will be condemned for allegedly accusing the person falsely.
Todays scripture says this righteousness is an inheritance that is available to servants of the Lord. So it is not for any other person but confirmed servants of the Lord. An inheritance is something that was not worked for but was allocated to one. Forgiveness, vindication and restoration are definitely not earned by human activities but by Grace brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pleading the blood of Jesus Christ and holding on to your faith even in that situation of rebuke by the Lord will get you all these by Grace.
It means that someone who claims to have accepted Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and saviour but is not a confirmed servant may not be able to benefit from this hope in times of affliction. Although accepting Christ as Lord and saviour is a simple and single step, the process of being a servant is a life time act of submission and the minute a Christian stops being a loyal servant, he/she may not be able to access this conferred righteousness that is necessary to grant hope in times of affliction.
To serve the Lord is to have him as your master. To obey only His instructions and no other. To make Him your only choice at all times. Any other position will not present a picture of a loyal servant that can enjoy the Grace in this scripture.
Are you a loyal servant of the most high? You need to be, because as long as you remain a Christian and human, you will always be punished for your transgressions by the Lord and your hope of not been haunted down in this world by this transgressions will be your loyalty to the Lord in terms of service. May God grant us all the spirit to serve Him loyally throughout our life time in Jesus name. Amen.