But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him,
that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”
These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
[John 12:37-41 NKJV]
Do we believe everything we read in the newspapers or hear on the radio, or see on television (and don’t even mention the internet) because there is a lot of twaddle out there? Some undoubtedly factually accurate, but much is supposition and guesswork. We need to approach it all with caution, just as we do with every spirit that comes our way. John gives us this in his first epistle…
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. [1 John 4:1-3 NKJV]
We can trust the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah — and I speak for myself here — seems to have an edge over the other three ‘major prophets’; Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, largely because he used the natural world a lot in his portrayal of spiritual truths. I do not in any way disparage what is said in the other books; merely that I find Isaiah more accessible.
Jesus appears to quote him more also — although I have done no study to confirm this and am prepared to be shot down if anyone can show otherwise. In this passage, John refers to the prophet and mentions him by name — it means ‘Jehovah has saved, rescued, preserved, delivered’ — three times.
Isaiah — who accurately prophesied or foretold so much of Jesus’ life — knew that a lot of the Messiah’s life-changing message would not be believed. Who has believed our report? Basically, who will hear and understand this message?
The answer, of course is, very few indeed; and yet from such inauspicious beginnings has grown the greatest expression of faith the world has ever seen — by far. And yet, it seems that the vast majority still do not understand so much of what Jesus taught — but I’m sure of two things…
The arm of The Lord — His strength and power — was not revealed in that hour. Jesus had to be forsaken for God’s plan to be completed.
Job gives expression to a new conception of God; his hope is that an umpire will arise who will not only justify God, but also justify him.
It was grief that brought Job to this place, and grief is the only thing that will; joy does not, neither does prosperity, but grief does.
[from ‘Baffled To Fight Better’]
“Who Has Believed Our Report” — Esther Upham — Israel Chamber Orchestra
Tuesday Gatherings — 14th September 2021
I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go into the house of the LORD."
[Psalm 122:1 NKJV]
There was a leading from the Spirit in this week’s Gathering to ‘come into the House of the Lord’ either by Psalm 122 verse 1 or by our opening praise “We have come into this house”. Indeed, this was very much a praising meeting as you will see from our song list below. Here are our notes of what was shared, expanded slightly and with scripture quotes (bold and in italics). We pray that we have caught the spirit of the gathering:
A HOLY CONDITION
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When we read about the death of Moses in Deuteronomy 34:5 it says, ‘And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab’. Similarly, in the account of the death of Joshua we read, ‘After these things, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died’. When these giants of the faith died, they shared a similar honour, but one that we might not have used to summarise them. Instead of their courage, or their humility, or their wisdom being honoured, the greater tribute paid to them is that they had been ‘the servant of the LORD’.
Jesus Himself said that He had not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28). It seems that, in God’s way of assessing things, the greatest honour goes not to those who were served but to those who gladly and willingly gave their lives in service of the LORD.