God of History
Difference makers are amazed by the Lord.
Many of us are underwhelmed by the gospel, instead of overwhelmed by it. Our attitude is that we receive blessings in expectation, rather than receiving blessings in gratitude. We should have a heart that is so amazed by the Lord that we sit back and just go, “Wow, You are amazing.”
Now, I want to draw your attention to the timeline, to history. Here is what I want you to realize: 739 bc was the year of King Uzziah’s death. That year was also the year of the founding of Rome. The Old Testament tells how Israel goes into a decline. It declines so much that the Israelites—the Pharisees, Sadducees, and everyone else—do not recognize the Messiah Jesus when He finally comes. But Rome is going to be so strong that it will crucify the Messiah. It begins right here, in 739 bc.
The whole book of Isaiah is this decline of Israel into not obeying God. There is the rise of Rome, and God knows here, 739 years in advance, that Jesus Christ is showing up on planet Earth. The Jews won’t recognize him and the Romans will be powerful enough to crucify him. But the Romans will also have built roads all throughout the ancient world so that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be able to go forward to all to the ends of the Earth.
I want you to see history. Around 2000 bc, we have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At about 1000 bc, David and Solomon rule—and this is the high point of the nation Israel. Then Solomon disobeys the Lord, and after his death the Israelites end up with a divided kingdom: Israel in the north, and Judah in the south.
739 bc is when Rome is starting and Israel is declining. That is where we are at this moment, when Isaiah sees a vision. God shows up in the darkest of times, doesn’t He? God loves bad odds. Isaiah is amazed by God. What God will do is absolutely amazing. What He wants to do in you and in me is absolutely amazing as well.
Am I amazed by God? Am I overwhelmed by the gospel? Do I receive God’s blessings in expectation, or in gratitude?