OUR UNIVERSAL MISSION - from Isaiah 12

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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
About the Title which included "from" Isaiah 12. It's really a summary of chapters 1-12. How I loved studying these chap[ters.

Our Universal Mission

And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord
,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12:4)

Isaiah foresees one message spreading over the world, exalting the truth about God, awakening all peoples to the infinite greatness and majesty of God revealed in his saving deeds. As we embrace this mission now, we exalt his name very profoundly.

In 1993 three New Tribes Mission missionaries were kidnapped in Colombia by terrorists. For eight years their families and friends wondered and prayed and worried. Eventually they were informed that the men were dead. Dan Germann was the NTM director in Colombia at that time. In an interview he said that their prayers changed through those long years of uncertainty. They started out praying that God would bring the men home safely. They ended up praying, “God, even if we never know what has become of them, you will still be God.” Dan said, “There is a very special sense of awe at who God is and how sufficient he is when the miracle doesn’t happen, but the wonder of his sufficiency is still present.”[5] This too is the triumph of grace. We come to realize that God is God. Our living and our dying take on a very special sense of awe, no matter what price we pay to spread his song. His cause is the one cause on the face of the earth that will finally succeed.

Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. (vv. 5, 6)

There we are, out in the future kingdom, no longer hanging back but alive with joy in God alone. John Trapp, the Puritan scholar, wrote, “No duty is more pressed in both Testaments than this, of rejoicing in the Lord. It is no less a sin not to rejoice than not to repent.”[6] In his great prayer, Jesus asked his Father on our behalf “that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13). Paul defined the essence of Christianity as “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Isaiah foresees “a day yet to be when a restored people will in hilarious celebration delight in their only asset—the Holy One.”[7]

The reason why Christian missions will write the last, happy chapter of history is the great presence of God with his people: “Great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” He is not content to stand off at a distance. From the beginning, God wanted to dwell among his people (Exodus 25:8). He dwelt among us in Jesus (John 1:14). He comes to us through the Holy Spirit (John 14:21, 23). And in the messianic kingdom, his presence will be great among us, uniting the world in holy delight (Zechariah 2:10, 11).

Ortlund, R. C., Jr., & Hughes, R. K. (2005). Isaiah: God saves sinners (pp. 123–124). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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5 World Pulse, November 12, 2001, p. 5.
6 Quoted in Derek Thomas, God Delivers: Isaiah Simply Explained (Durham, UK: Evangelical Press, 1991), p. 119.
7 Oswalt, I:295.
 
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