April 10, 2008

The Glory of Jesus Covers Our Sin

Isaiah 4

In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious …
Isaiah 4:2


Isaiah 4 brings the description of God’s coming judgment to a climax. As the Lord ceases to protect the people, they experience devastating defeats at the hands of their enemies. With so many of their men killed, normal society crumbles. The social consequences are frightening. “In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, ‘We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!’”

But God’s love and mercy for his people endure forever. God’s plan of salvation will not fail. “The Branch of the LORD” reverses the ugliness of the situation, because he “will be beautiful and glorious.” Isaiah 11:1-2 provides some additional helpful details about this promised one:?“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”

Can a mere “branch,” a “shoot,” be “beautiful and glorious”? Empowered with the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, and fear of the Lord, this unassuming remnant of David’s line has all the spiritual qualities needed to turn the world right-side up. His righteousness covers our sin, replacing its ugliness with his glorious beauty.

Father, thank you for preserving the remnant of Judah. Help us so that more of the beauty of Jesus’ righteousness covers over the ugliness of our sin. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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