An Exhortation to Those Who Follow After Righteousness
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles to the book of Isaiah, chapter 51. Keep in mind that we are in the second half of the book of Isaiah, which began with chapter 40. We are in the second section of the last half.

You will recall that at this present time we are discussing the Servant passages in the book of Isaiah. There are four. Each one is followed by what we might refer to as an interlude of teaching related to the picture of the servant presented.

Two lessons ago we looked at the story of the surrendered Servant which was presented to us in chapter 50, when the Lord Jesus Christ was presented to us as a Servant who was completely surrendered to the LORD. The fourth and last picture of the Servant will be presented in the paragraph which begins with verse 13 of chapter 52 and carries all the way through chapter 53. That will be the picture of the suffering Servant . Between the picture of the s urrendered Servant and the suffering Servant , there is the interlude which begins with verse 1 of chapter 51 and goes all the way through chapter 52, verse 12. This interlude is representative of the ideal condition of every believer whether he be in Israel or in the Church of God. The ideal condition is one of surrender.

You will recall that when the picture of the surrendered Servant was presented in chapter 50, we were told that God had opened the ear of the Servant, Jesus Christ, in order that He might hear what God had to say to Him. Whatever it was that God had to say, the Servant obeyed.

We are not surprised to find, in chapter 51, that the very first word of exhortation to believers would begin with the word hearken . That word is mentioned three times. You will find it in verse 1, then again in verse 4, and again in verse 7. Closely akin to the word hearken is the word awake . You will find that it is a reference to a spiritual lethargy or a seeming such condition.

You find the word awake mentioned three times in the remaining verses. You will notice it mentioned twice in verse 9, but we are using the word one time in relation to the verse. Awake is mentioned again in verse 17, and then again in verse 1 of chapter 52. The meditation in this lesson will be built around the words hearken and awake .

Notice verse 1, of chapter 51:

Isaiah 51

1Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.
2Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.
3For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

The first thing that we would like for you to notice about this first paragraph is the people to whom the message is addressed. You will notice it there in verse 1:

Isaiah 51

1…ye that follow after righteousness…

The importance of that statement will be emphasized if you will remember that chapter 50 concluded with a warning to “those that kindled their own fire, and walk in the light of their own fire.” Such people would come to a sad end, but thank God everyone does not kindle their own fire, and everyone does not walk in the light of his own fire. There are some who follow after righteousness. God says to those that follow after righteousness, “Hearken.”

Listen With Understanding

This word hearken is of real interest to us. We want to know exactly what God means when He says, “Hearken.” We learn a very interesting thing in the light of successive remarks which we will be making by and by. We discover that this word hearken comes from the Hebrew word shama , which means “to hear intelligently.” God is saying, “I want you who follow righteousness to hear intelligently; hear with perception and understanding.”

We are going to find, before we are through with this discussion, that they did, because down in verse 7, He says:

Isaiah 51

7Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness…

In verse 1, they are just following after it, but now they know it. The word know there is related to experience. You know, it is one thing to follow after a certain truth and another thing to experience it. He is saying to these folk, “I want you to listen intelligently to what I have to say so that you might not be just followers, but that you might have the experience.”

What was it God said to them? In a way, He said a rather strange thing, because usually when we are offering words of encouragement to people we are encouraging them to look forward. We are saying, “Keep your eyes toward the front.” We learned that about the Lord Jesus Christ in His surrendered life when we learned that He steadfastly set His face to go forward. God said, “I want you folk to listen intelligently to what I have to say.” Then He said, “I want you to look back.”

Look Back With Pleasure

He actually said, in the last part of verse 1:

Isaiah 51

1…look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.

This word look is from the Hebrew word nabat . There are a number of Hebrew words for look , and I make mention of this, because it is important for us to know how they were to look. Some folk, when they look back, are so discouraged. Some folk, when they look back, are so involved with past failures that they can not take one step forward. This Hebrew word nabat suggests that they should look back with pleasure and assurance. That is important to keep in mind when you read again that statement where He said:

Isaiah 51

1…look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.

What was He talking about? We might remind you that if you were reading this in the original tongue, you would find that this is a Hebrew poem. Hebrew poetry, of course, is different from English poetry. English poetry, for the most part, is based on the matter of rhyme, while Hebrew poetry is based on the matter of parallel thought. They were not interested in finding words that rhyme; they were interested in sentences that paralleled one another. So, we find what we might refer to as the rhyme in verse 2:

Isaiah 51

2Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you…

Abraham is parallel to the rock, and Sarah is parallel with the pit. If that seems a bit strange to you, remember that we have already learned in our study of the book of Isaiah that the nation of Israel was miraculously created because Abraham and Sarah were well past age, and God created in the womb of Sarah by natural means the seed of Isaac. When Isaac was born, the nation of Israel sprung from him; and God, figuratively speaking, quarried them from a rock quarry.

Reminder of a Miracle

The reason God said, “Look back with pleasure,” is that He wanted to remind them that their beginning was related to a miracle; and if their beginning was related to a miracle, why should they think that their end would be related to a defeat? He emphasized the miracle when He said in the last part of verse 2, referring to Abraham:

Isaiah 51

2…for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

It all began with one man who was physically incapable of reproduction, but God worked a miracle. The lovely thing to keep in mind, because certainly there is no point in considering what is related to Israel unless we are able to make application to our own lives, is that He who has begun a good work in us shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Preachers have a great deal of joy when they see the fruit of their ministry in the lives of the people to whom they minister. There is no greater satisfaction than to see people grow under the ministry of the Word. May I remind you that there is no greater disappointment than to see people who do grow and then see them suddenly sicken and pine away and die spiritually. Sometimes it would be discouraging to the point of despair if you could not remember the promise of the Word of God that I have just quoted:

Philippians 1

6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

That is exactly what God said to the nation of Israel—those among the nation who were following after righteousness. He said, “You listen intelligently to what I have to say. The first thing is, I want you to look back with pleasure. I want you to look back with assurance and remember how you began. Then I want you to look forward.”

Look Forward to God's Promise

In verse 3, He said:

Isaiah 51

3For the LORD shall comfort Zion [she needed all the comfort she could get] : he will comfort all her waste places; and [here is the miracle] he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

When they were looking at Zion, all they could see was the waste. All they could see were the wilderness places, and it was a discouraging sight. “But,” He said, “you keep on looking, and even as you look you will see the change occur before your eyes. I will change these waste places and these wilderness places into luscious garden places like the Garden of Eden.”

Let's remember that we are placing a literal interpretation on the book of Isaiah. It is a prophecy of what is going to occur to the nation of Israel someday, and before we are through with this chapter we will find exactly when, but let's remember that every passage of Scripture, having one interpretation, has as many spiritual applications as is consistent with the rest of the Word of God.

How my own heart rejoices when I look at lives in which there are waste places, and I know that my God has marked them for His own and that those wilderness places and those waste places will someday become like the Garden of Eden. Someday they shall be places of gladness, thanksgiving and the voice of melody will be heard.

It may be difficult for you to believe that. You may say, “Oh, they have gone so far. There's no hope.” Don't give up. Look back, then look forward and remember that God is saying, “Hearken intelligently to what I say.”

Pay Close Attention to God's Word

The second hearken is found in verse 4. Notice it with me:

Isaiah 51

4Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
5My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

Look at the word hearken in verse 4. It looks like exactly the same word, but it isn't as far as your English text is concerned. It comes from a different word. The first word was one that had strength to it, but this one has greater strength. This word hearken comes from the Hebrew word qashab . It means “to pick up your ears,” and the emphasis for such a need is even emphasized when you read the next statement: “Give ear unto me.” This phrase comes from one Hebrew word, which literally means “to broaden out your ear just as broad as you can.” Make it just as flat as you can. Don't let anything interfere with what He is going to say. This, of course, adds up to paying very close attention this time to what is being said. In fact, this Hebrew word qashab has often been used to picture a scale in which the theme which was said was weighed very carefully, and empty words were disannulled, but words that had real weight and real balance were remembered. This word hearken indicates that extra close attention needs to be paid to what is said.

A Message to a Whole Nation

Perhaps you are wondering why, and I think the answer is found in the people to whom the word is addressed. In the first verse, the word is addressed to those who follow righteousness—that is, the believers among the entire nation. This message is addressed to the whole nation of Israel. Of course, you have learned in your study of the Word of God that all who are in Israel are not of Israel, as the Apostle Paul put it. That is, there are many unbelievers in the nation, and of course, unbelieving people are prone to miss spiritual truth. Extra special effort has to be made to get their attention. What is the message God has for the nation? Notice the last part of verse 4, where He says:

Isaiah 51

4…for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
5My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

These two verses declare a precious promise of the Word which we might refer to, if you won't misunderstand it, as the “conversion of the world”. Now, we do not believe in the conversion of the world in the sense that the liberalists proclaim it. That is, we do not believe that we are going to bring the Kingdom in by converting the world. That cannot be done. We believe that there is a day coming when God, through His own chosen and appointed evangelist, the Jewish nation, is going to see to it that the Gospel gets to every corner of the world, and the world will have the opportunity of accepting or rejecting the Gospel, and then the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will return, and righteousness will cover the earth as waters cover the sea.

He said, “My salvation is near.” What did He mean by that? He meant that the particular prophetic period that this passage of Scripture is speaking about is indicated in verse 6:

Isaiah 51

6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

In another series of studies we have been studying cosmology as Peter presents it. We have talked about the dissolution of the earth by fire, and that is described in this verse. Recently we talked about the new heavens and the new earth, wherein will dwell righteousness, and that is spoken of in this verse. So you see, the Scripture bears itself out. God is saying to the entire nation of Israel, “Weigh carefully all that I have said, for you have the idea that My message is to you, a little nation. In a sense, it isn't. My message is to the entire world.”

Message to the Believing Remnant

In verse 7, we have the third word hearken , and it is the very same word used in verse 1, when He said, “Listen intelligently. Listen with perception.” It is not quite as strong a word as in verse 4, and the reason for it we have already hinted at. When we looked at that verse a moment ago, we saw that He is not talking to the broad nation now. He is talking to the believing remnant, and not only to the believing remnant who had followed after righteousness, but to the believing remnant who had experienced righteousness.

What does it mean to experience righteousness? Look at the next statement:

Isaiah 51

7…the people in whose heart is my law…

You see, when you have His law, and we are speaking of His Word, in your head, you will just be following after. But, when you have His law in your head, or intelligently, and in your heart, then you will be experiencing what God wants you to experience.

What is the word He has for those who have experienced His law? Well, if you will look there at the last part of verse 7, you will find out what it is:

Isaiah 51

7…fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

The thing that of which Israel was particularly afraid was the reproach of men. Keep in mind, prophetically speaking, at the time to which this Scripture refers, they were scattered to the four corners of the world, and they as a nation were persecuted as no other nation had ever been. They were afraid to call their lives their own, but God said, “Don't be afraid. Don't fear the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings.” Then in verse 8, He said:

Isaiah 51

8For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.

What God said to them in relation to fear He said to our own hearts. The object of our fear may not be the same, but fear is a very real thing, and we are prone sometimes to let fear control our lives. God is saying, “Don't be afraid. You have experienced righteousness. Don't be afraid, for all those individuals who are afraid, the moth will devour them like the moth devours the garment and the worm eats the wool, but the thing that you have is going to last forever.”

Stir Yourself to Action

That brings us to the word awake . The word awake is mentioned in three places, because it is really “awake, awake” in each one of these places. I would like for you to notice in verse 9, where it is mentioned first. As we look at this word awake , let me say right from the beginning, so we won't be wondering about it, the same word in Hebrew is used in each instance. The word awake doesn't just mean “open your eyes”; it means “stir yourself up, lift yourself up, raise yourself up, do something.”

Do you have some time with the Lord when He speaks to your heart and then you talk back to Him, or is all of your time with the Lord one-sided? Do you spend all of your time letting God speak to you and you never speak to Him? Do you spend all of your time speaking to God and never give Him a chance to speak to you? Sometimes our meditation is a lopsided thing. Our communion isn't equalized as it should be.

Up to this point God has been talking to the nation of Israel, to the believing remnant in the nation of Israel; but in the paragraph at which we are going to look right now, we find the nation of Israel talking back to God. Learn to talk back to God. Don't be afraid to do that. It so pleases the heart of God that He takes up the conversation immediately in this paragraph and talks back to the Israelites.

Responding to God's Promise

I have said “God,” but if we are going to be very exact, it is the Lord Jesus Christ, for notice verse 9:

Isaiah 51

9Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD…

Who is the arm of the LORD? Glance over there at Isaiah, chapter 53, and notice verse 1:

Isaiah 53

1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

The chapter goes on to reveal the arm of the LORD. Who is the arm of the LORD? The Lord Jesus Christ is the arm of Jehovah, for notice that the word LORD has every letter capitalized, and it is a reference to God the Father, so this reads: “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD.”

Somebody may say, “Why did they choose this particular name? There are nearly 300 names and titles in the Bible that can refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, why would they pick out this particular one?” Well, it is the name that God used when He was talking to them. Glance up at verse 5:

Isaiah 51

5My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms [should be singular] shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

It is just as though God said, “Jesus Christ shall judge the world, and the whole world shall wait at the feet of Jesus Christ.” What was He doing? He was giving them a promise. What were they doing? They were responding to the promise. Have you learned to respond to the promises of God? How often in His Word He gives us a promise and we don't even say, “Thank you, Lord,” much less claim it. It just seems to have no effect upon us at all.

These folk were listening carefully, and when He said, “The arm of the LORD shall do these things.”, they cried out, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD. Awake as in the ancient days in the generations of old.” They are saying, “Lord Jesus, do what You promised to do.”

What a strange thing to say to Him. “Wake up.” Is He asleep? Beloved, “He that watcheth over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,” the Psalmist said. When we were presenting the expanded translation of Habakkuk, chapter 1, verse 5, we told you that He is working a work, but He is working it so secretly that sometimes it will even seem not as though He was asleep, but as though He is dead, because the trial might be just that deep. You might find yourself saying, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD.” This is consistent with the Scripture.

Do you remember the story which the Lord Jesus Christ gave in the Gospel, when the friend had gone to sleep and his neighbor had received company in the middle of the night? The neighbor had no food for the company, so he went next door and he knocked. He said, “I've got company, and the cupboard is empty. Lend me some food.” The neighbor argued about it. He said, “I've gone to bed. I don't want to get up. It's too much trouble.” But the neighbor wouldn't take no for an answer. You see, God loves for us to stir Him up. He loves for us to say to Him, “Awake, awake, put on strength.” Here they are saying, “Do what you used to do LORD.”

Remember God's Past Provisions

Do you ever get hungry to see the Lord do for you what He did perhaps in the early days of your Christian experience, when you weren't weighted down with the things of the world and God had a chance to really work in your life? Sometimes, old folk tell us about the “old days,” when everybody seemed to love the Lord and there was a real interest in the things of God. There doesn't seem to be that interest anymore. That was what they were talking about. “Lord, do what You did in the ancient days.” Notice what He said in verse 9:

Isaiah 51

9…Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

Of course, you will keep in mind that Rahab and the dragon here are names used in the Scripture for the Devil. “Lord you have won the victory over the Devil in the past. You have cut Rahab, and You have wounded the dragon. Since You used to do that, why don't You do it again?” Then in verse 10:

Isaiah 51

10Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?

“Lord, aren't You the One who dried up the sea so that your children could walk over on dry land?” They didn't need ships, pontoons, bridges, or anything else. They had a God that could command the waters to roll back, and they walked through perfectly safe. Verse 11:

Isaiah 51

11Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

You see what the verse is saying? “Lord, if You would do the same thing now that You did way back yonder, things would be so different. When we were captive in the land of Egypt, You delivered us, and You made a path through the waters for us. We are scattered throughout the whole world now. Why don't You make a way? Then the redeemed of the LORD shall return with singing unto Zion.” Keep in mind that Zion is the city of Jerusalem. “Everlasting joy shall be upon their head, but ashes are on their head now. They shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”

God's Response to Prayer

Did they wake God up? Have you ever waked God up with your prayers? Have you ever stirred Him to action? I say this reverently, Beloved: I think most of us are living beneath our privileges. I think that we need to learn to stir God up to action. If you will permit a colloquialism, I believe that altogether too many of us take things lying down. Some unfortunate thing happens and we say, “What can we do about it?” “Pray.” Some unfortunate thing happens, and we say, “What can we do about it?” “Pray.” Something unfortunate happens and we say, “There is nothing we can do about it.” Wake God up. Arouse Him; get Him to action. Is God like that? Look at verse 12, for God answered immediately. In verse 9, they said:

Isaiah 51

9Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

Then God answered immediately:

Isaiah 51

12I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
13And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?
14The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
15But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
16And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

My, this is a wonderful paragraph. Were you reading this intelligently? Were you hearkening? Did you get what it said? He was so pleased with their appeal that He answered immediately and said, “Yes, I am the One who has done all of that, and I have a few questions for you. Who are you that you should be afraid of man? Who are you that does thus and so?”

Remember Your Position In Christ

What is the first thing that God did? He reminded them of their position. He says, “Someone that doesn't have anyone to look out for them might have a right to be afraid, but you have no right to be afraid for I am looking out for you.” That is what God said. “Some people might have a right to be discouraged, but you have no right to be discouraged. Look who I am, and what I have done.”

Keep in mind that this is addressed to the nation of Israel, but it can be applied to you, and I would like for you to do that as we read these questions again. “Who art thou that shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die and of the son of man which shall be made as grass? Why are you afraid? Why are you afraid of a puny man that is going to die. He is just like the grass. He can not last forever. You have no right to be afraid of somebody like that. You belong to Me.”

Then He said in verse 13: “Who are you to forget that it was I, thy Maker, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth? Shame on you for forgetting.” That is the implication of the verse. “You must not forget what I have done. I have laid the foundations of the earth. I have stretched the heavens, and I have made you, but you act like you are all alone. I am still here.”

No Need to Be Afraid

Then notice in the middle of verse 13, where He said: “Who are you who hath feared continually everyday?” Beloved, do you know what it is to fear continually every day? Do you know what it is to be afraid every day. Some people do. Sometime folk are surprised, and then they are frightened, because something unexpected arises. There are some dear folk who live in fear continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy. Of course, you know the oppressor is none other than the Devil. You know that. God said, “Where is the fury of the oppressor? Where is it? It really hasn't hurt you yet, has it? You have been afraid of it. Why hasn't it hurt you? Because, I have interceded.”

Verse 14 presents a very interesting way in which He has interceded, because you read there:

Isaiah 51

14The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.

It doesn't mean very much to you the way that it is written, does it? It is not a good translation. What it really says is this: “The exile who is a captive, when he sees a chance to gain his freedom, rusheth just as fast as he can, because he is afraid that he might die in the dungeon if he doesn't. He is afraid that his bread will fail before he gets to the place of security if he doesn't run, run, run, run.”

In verse 15, God says: “You don't need to run like that. You don't need to hurry as though your gas is going to run out before you get to your destination.”

Have you ever driven a car when the indicator on the tank showed the tank almost empty? What did you do? Well, I don't know if it has ever been proved conclusively that it is the sensible thing to do, because there are arguments on both sides, but most folk hurry up. They want to get as far as they can before the gas runs out. That is the normal thing to do, but God is saying here, “Your gas isn't going to run out. You don't have to hurry.” Look at verse 15:

Isaiah 51

15But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.

Now, wait a minute. Do you remember what the skeptics said about the sea which God divided when the children of Israel crossed out of the land of Egypt? If you have done very much reading, you know what they said. They said that it was at the season of the year when the sea was somewhat like some of our West Texas creeks—it had just a little stream right down the middle, and it could be crossed in one step. That is what some of them said. Some of them say that actually the sea divides into seven branches, and those branches weren't very wide, and they just stepped across each one of the seven all the way. That isn't what God said. He said, “When I divided the sea, the waves were roaring. Don't you remember?”

Resting On God's Promise

God is not afraid of roaring waves. He is more powerful than the waves. In verse 16, He said, “I have put My words in thy mouth. The promises are yours. All that you need to do is claim them.” In the next statement, He said:

Isaiah 51

16…I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

This is not as happy a translation, gramatically, as it could be, because the tenses are a little bit misleading. In chapter 51, verse 6, God said that He was going to destroy the heavens and the earth and they would melt like wax. They would go up like smoke, and they would roll together as a scroll. Did you ever wonder where you would be when that happened? If the earth goes up in smoke, what is to keep you from going up in smoke too? Well, God tells you right here in this verse for the verse should read: “And I will cover thee in the shadow of my hand when I plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.” He is saying, “When the destruction comes upon the earth and all the evil that is in it, I am going to put you right here in My hand, and I am going to put the other hand right on top of you. While all of this turmoil is going on around you, you will be safe in My hand.”

Now, God will do that. But, Beloved, we may have a while to live before that great, cataclysmic event occurs to which we have just referred, and the fires of suffering may roar pretty high around some of us. I am amazed, even though I expected it, at the fires of suffering that are coming to the people of God. I believe they are going to be worse, but thank God, He is able to put you in His hand, and He is able to put His hand over you. While all the fires are raging about you, there will be protection.

Thank God for the God that we have. I hope that you have learned to trust Him and to lean on Him.


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