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Remember and Stand Firm


Isaiah 46:8-11

“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.”

The Story: Christmas, if anything, is a time to remember, and God through Isaiah called His people to remember two critical things. First, “I am God, and there in no other.” The ancient Israelites and their neighbors were even more prone than people today to believe that all religions were basically true. Not so, God told them. The gods of Babylon are not gods at all, but figments of overheated imaginations. Remember, He said, there is only one God and that is Me. Second, “My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish My purpose.” God knows the end from the beginning and has His plans for this world and its people. Those plans will, beyond any shadow of doubt, be accomplished. Remember, He said, I will realize every one of My goals. Faced with invasion, conquest, and exile, if Isaiah’s hearers remembered these two things, they could and would stand firm.

The Structure: The coming of Christ as the babe of Bethlehem is a clear indication that God accomplishes His goals in ways no one would guess. Joseph? Mary? The time of Augustus and Herod the Great? Nazareth? Bethlehem? The entire plan seemed all wrong and yet the entire plan was perfect. Everything happened in what Paul called “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4). The same is true today. Despite the fearful state of the world, the challenges in day-to-day living, and the sad state of our souls, God is still God. And He alone is God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—there is and can be no other. He is “the Alpha and the Omega who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). He knows the end from the beginning and His plans cannot be thwarted by circumstances, Satan, or human sin. Remember and stand firm.

When are you tempted to believe that the world has spun out of God’s control? How does remembering, “I have purposed, and I will do it,” help you to stand firm?

 

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