“Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them!
They will be paid back for what their hands have done.” Isaiah 3:10-11
The prophet Isaiah foretold a lot of doom over the nation of God during his long ministry. The book of his prophecies is overflowing with terrifying glimpses at the horrors that were to be poured out on the rebellious children of Israel. Yet, at every point of seeming hopelessness and despair, God offered glimmers of hope and whispers of promise. He would never leave His covenant people in total despair, for He had a purpose for them that was too great to be thwarted – even by their persistent rebellion.
The statements quoted above are some of these sweet promises offered by God through His prophet. As awful as the sins of the overall nation were (and they were incredibly awful), God always had a remnant of those who still loved and honored Him. That remnant may have been small, but they were unwavering and strong. They needed to hear a word of encouragement to carry on in obedience, just as the wicked nation needed to hear warnings about what the consequences would be if they carried on in their disobedience. What did God want His outnumbered faithful ones to know? “Tell the righteous it will be with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.”
I share this with you today, Disciple, because I know that it can sometimes feel terribly lonely in this dark world as you seek to do the will of your Father and stand against the tide of sin and selfishness all around. When you see the corrosive effects of sin on your family, your community, your nation, and the larger world, it might be tempting to throw up your hands and just lay low until Jesus comes to end it all. God understands our temptations, and He is calling us to hear His voice of truth and stand strong. He is calling us to carry on doing what is good and right, sharing the unpopular truth of His kingdom way and serving our Lord Jesus’ mission even when it seems futile to do so. No matter what happens in the world around us – either as sin has its natural destructive effects, or as God steps in to express His wrath against the world’s sin – you can know that it will be well with you. You are truly and ultimately safe in the care of your Master who faced the same temptation to despair as you now face.
We ought not to celebrate the woe that will surely come on those who live in rebellion against our King. Yet it ought to bring us a great deal of comfort to know that wickedness will not long prevail, and the ways of our Enemy will not be allowed to flourish forever. You and all of God’s courageous faithful ones will be vindicated, and the way of Jesus will ultimately be shown to be right. Someday soon, all things will be put to rights, and we will know the full joy of our obedience. No matter what swirls around you, hold on and stand firm, waiting patiently for the promises of your Father to be kept in full – because they will!
Encouraged and sustained by His promise with you,