Surrounded by God’s Grace Unto Righteousness

Isaiah 58:6-11 (NASB)

6 “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? 7 “Is it not to divide your bread with° the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing° of the finger and speaking wickedness, 10 And if you give° yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire° of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. 11 “And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire° in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail°.
Isaiah 58:7  Lit for
Isaiah 58:9  Lit sending out
Isaiah 58:10a  Lit furnish
Isaiah 58:10b  Or soul
Isaiah 58:11a  Or soul
Isaiah 58:11b  Or deceive

We know that we can’t become righteous by DOING activity, that Christ and Christ alone CALLS us righteous by IMPUTING His righteousness to us.  So, we have NO righteousness of our own that can be accomplished via works.  NONE.  And so what this text is talking about is the SURROUNDING NATURE of the Grace of God.  He goes BEFORE us and His Glory is our REAR GUARD, that we are SURROUNDED by the Grace of God.

And here’s why that’s such good news:  I can think back on the last 22 years of following the Lord and I can think of a handful of days where I thought I NAILED it.  Anyone else?  I went to bed at night and I was like, ‘NAILED IT!  Got up this morning, spent some time in the WORD, shared the GOSPEL with like three people today, guarded my THOUGHTS, walked in INTEGRITY with all I know, treated my WIFE the way the Lord would have me, treated my KIDS the way the Lord would have me.’  Went to bed PROUD of myself.  Thank you, Lord, for strengthening me and sustaining me.  But if I’m straight, those are a HANDFUL of days.  Most days, I’ve gone to bed at night and thought, ‘Dang it…we’ll get ‘em tomorrow.  Mercies are new in the morning, remember?’

And here’s why I love the idea of being SURROUNDED by grace, because on the day that I ‘nailed it’, He took those filthy rags of my own ‘righteousness’ and called them ‘righteous’ because of Jesus.  And on those days that I ‘did my best‘ with all the Holy Spirit’s power to be COMPLETELY obedient and fell WOEFULLY SHORT, He was RIGHT THERE and called me ‘righteous.’  So let Him be in front of me as my Righteousness and let His Glory be my rear guard.  It means WHEREVER I go, there HE IS.  Good days or bad, THERE HE IS.  UNMOVED.  UNWAVERING.  FEROCIOUSLY COMMITTED to ME because of CHRIST.  Praise God!

–Matt Chandler
“Eyes to See”
The Village Church, TX

Key verses:  Isaiah 58, Romans 3:19-28, Lamentations 3:21-23, Isaiah 64:6, 1 Peter 1:2

Posted in EGP Blog