Today’s Reading: Isa 13:1–14:23, Luke 5:1–39, Job 4:1–11
Today’s Theme: God’s Judgement and Mercy
Today’s theme is about God’s just judgment, focusing on the punishment God will deal out and the mercy He shows to us through Jesus. Without the coming judgement there is no backdrop for the Gospel.
God will punish
I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. Isaiah 13:11 (ESV)
Punishment is a word that has fallen on hard times. Often if the word is used we tend to think of remedial punishment which is not final and seeks to reform the one punished. However the scriptures clearly teach that God will justly bring final punitive judgement on the wicked leading to their final death and eternal condemnation in hell.
God promises that a day of global punishment is coming where the wicked will be judged. This is actually the backdrop to the Gospel we proclaim. God has made a way of escape from the judgement to come through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
The word translated as punish here is the Hebrew word pāqad. While pāqad has a wide range of meaning, it basically expresses the action of overseeing an individual for a particular purpose. God who oversees us often “visits” to bring divine judgment in response to human sin. In these instances, pāqad is translated as “to punish.”
The Gospel makes a way for God to pass over us when He visits to bring judgement.
God shows compassion
For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. Isaiah 14:1 (ESV)
God declares that He will show compassion on His chosen people Israel. We can take comfort that God is merciful and compassionate and seeks to show us compassion.
We should not have an image of God as an angry, unapproachable and blood thirsty monarch. He is a compassionate, serving, loving creator who actively seeks to bless and restore His people.
But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. Isaiah 14:15 (ESV)
Jesus told us in John 16:11 “concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” when he told us about the coming of the Holy Spirit convicting the word of judgement to come.
The Devil’s judgement has already been declared, he is a defeated enemy.
This passage gives us unique insight into the original sin of Satan which was pride, vanity and rebellion. This insight comes from the spirit behind Babylon in the passage.
Satan was so enamoured with himself that he lost sight of the basic truth that he was only a created being while God is eternal.
Satan is not even close to God in power. It was a lost cause the moment he chose to rebel. Despite his warped desires and proud words he will be brought down to the pit.
Don’t fear the devil, his judgement is set, we win!
And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. Luke 5:11 (ESV)
We like the first disciples must commit to follow Jesus, leaving everything else we were following or dedicated to, to live our lives in allegiance to Him alone.
Jesus is the only escape from judgement, follow Him to find life.
The life of Jesus
And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Luke 5:31 (ESV)
Take time to consider the life of Jesus. In v14 He shows humility, v16 shows the priority of private prayer in His life, v17 shows He spent his days teaching the truth and would be used by the Lord to heal the sick, in v20 He forgives sin.
Now in this verse we see that the purpose of His life was to bring sinners to repentance. This is the great mercy of God and should be our purpose as well, to the glory of God.
Live like Jesus
God is merciful
As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. Job 4:8 (ESV)
This may be true but the absolute blanket application takes the principle out of context, making it a central controlling principle with no room for love, mercy or the active personality of God. Thankfully God is merciful and offers grace through Jesus.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Luke 5