49:1-22 – ‘Afterwards I will restore the fortunes…’ (6). Sometimes, when you’re going through a particularly difficult time, you may wonder, ‘Will this ever end?’. God speaks to us His Word of encouragement. There will be an ‘afterwards’. There will be a ‘restoration of our fortunes’. ‘The Lord will not cast us off for ever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion according to His steadfast love. He does not willingly bring suffering or grief to anyone’ (Lamentations 3:31-33). There will come a time when we will be able to look back at our most distressing circumstances and say from the heart, ‘God meant it for good’ (Genesis 50:20). In our most testing and trying times, God is teaching us to say, with confidence in Him, ‘We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him’ (Romans 8:28).
49:23-39 – ‘I will restore the fortunes… in days to come’ (39). God is calling us on to His future, a glorious future, a future full of heavenly and eternal glory. We look ahead to ‘days to come’. We look ahead to the greatest Day of all – the Day of Christ’s Return. It will be a glorious Day – ‘the Day He comes to be glorified… in all who have believed’. What a glorious Day it will be – the Day of ‘the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’, the Day of ‘our being gathered to Him’: ‘The Lord Himself will come down from heaven… We will be with the Lord for ever’. Get ready for Christ’s Return. Don’t be like those who ‘perish’. They ‘do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus’. They ‘refuse to love the truth and be saved’. Have ‘faith’ in Christ and be ‘saved’ (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2:1,10,13-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
50:1-28 – ‘The people… will go in tears to seek the Lord their God… They will come and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten’ (4-5). God is calling us to come to Him. He is calling us to commit ourselves to Him. We are to come to the Lord with ‘tears’: ‘Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation’ (2 Corinthians 7:10). Our commitment to the Lord is not to be a half-hearted thing. It is to be a whole-hearted dedication of our lives to Him. God loves us. He has blessed us so much. He has drawn us to Himself. He has heard and answered our prayer for salvation. How are we to respond to such love? We must give ourselves to Him as ‘a living sacrifice’. This is our ‘spiritual worship’. It is ‘holy and pleasing to God’ (Romans 12:1).
50:29-46 – ‘The arrogant one will stumble and fall’ (32). God’s Word warns us – ‘Pride goes before… a fall’; ‘Arrogance will bring your downfall’ (Proverbs 16:18; 29:23). We must not trust in ourselves. We must put our trust in the Lord – Our ‘Redeemer is strong. The Lord Almighty is His Name’ (34). We must not boast of ourselves. Salvation is ‘not our own doing’. We must ‘boast of the Lord’. Salvation is ‘the gift of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:31; Ephesians 2:8-9). When we are tempted to take pride in ourselves – ‘Lord, I thank You that I am not like other men…’ (Luke 18:11-12), we must come to the Cross of Christ, praying the sinner’s prayer – ‘Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner’ (Luke 18:13) – and boasting only of the Lord – ‘God forbid that I should glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14).