his strange work

April 2015 (18)Isaiah 28:16-22

16 Therefore the Lord Yahveh says this: “See me! laying a stone in Zion, a testing stone, a precious cornerstone, an ultimate foundation: ‘The one who trusts will not worry and hurry. 17 And I will make justice a measuring line, and righteousness a plumb line; and hail will sweep away a lie’s refuge, and waters will flood over a hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death will be canceled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; you will become a trampling place for the overpowering flood when it passes through. 19 Each time passing through each morning it will pass through, each day and each night, and hearing the warning will bring only terror.” 20 Because your bed time is too short to get enough sleep, and your covering is too small to protect oneself. 21 Because Yahveh will rise up like he did at Mount Perazim; he will rave like he did in the valley at Gibeon to do his work–his strange work — and to work his work–his alien work! 22 And now you must not ridicule it, or your captivity will be severe, because I have heard from the Lord, Yahveh of armies: complete destruction decreed upon all the land.

his strange work

The apostle Paul quotes from this passage in Romans:

“What shall we say then?–that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness got it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not get it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by having faith but (as if it were possible) by doing works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, “See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble and a rock that will make them fall, yet the one who puts faith in him will not be put to shame.”[1]

Paul saw what Isaiah meant by Yahveh’s strange work. First, the LORD will take his chosen people and reduce them to ruin. Then, upon that leveled ground, he will place his foundation stone (Jesus Christ). If his people will dare to trust that he (God) knows what he is doing, they will put their faith in Christ. Otherwise they will stumble over the very stone which is God’s plan for their restoration. If they insist on seeking righteousness by their own works, they will never be able to take advantage of God’s work, however strange it may seem.

Perhaps God is doing a strange work in your life right now. Maybe even in your prayers, you find yourself saying, “Lord, this does not make sense.” Don’t worry, don’t hurry to find a solution. Wait on the Lord and trust in him. Some day you will look back on his work in your life and realize that he had a plan, and was carrying it out. But, for now, you need to be content in knowing that it is he who is doing this strange work.

Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy, and may your whole being (spirit and soul and body) be kept blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

[1] Romans 9:30-33.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
This entry was posted in Jesus Christ, restoration, sovereignty of God, trust and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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