Friday, August 22, 2014
August 21 – As I have planned
The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” (Isaiah 14:24 ESV)
Why would God feel the need to swear, to make an oath? He cannot lie. Whatever comes out of His mouth is trustworthy and true. A verse in Romans three says that even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. So why did God feel driven to swear? He did this for us.
Nowadays people only make oaths in court, when they are called to be a witness, placing their hand on a Bible and swearing that what they are about to say is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If they are caught in a lie after making that oath, they can be jailed for perjury. In the time of Isaiah it must have been similar. Oaths were solemn promises that could not be broken, and making an oath was a way of proving to others that what you were about to say was the truth, very similar to signatures today. If a person signs a contract, a check, or a credit card receipt, they will be held accountable for those charges, or for whatever obligations they have agreed to in the contract. It is not a minor thing to sign a contract and then change your mind and decide not to honor it. And so, when Almighty God spoke these words almost three thousand years ago, He had all this in mind. He swore in order to get our attention and to demonstrate the seriousness of the words He was about to speak.
We can interpret the phrase, As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, as a guarantee that what God has promised in His Word will come true. We cannot waffle when it comes to His promises — either the Bible is the actual voice of God and is true in every respect, or it is a big, fat lie. We cannot read a promise and decide that God wants to do one part and not the other, or that He wants to fulfill that promise in other people’s lives but not ours. The things that God has planned and purposed (His promises) are not there to make us feel good, they are there because God is ready to move heaven and earth to make them come true, however big or small.
Another way to interpret this phrase is to view it as God’s example for us. As children of God we are extensions of Him — we are His voice in this world, His hands, His feet. As His children we are called to imitate Him, and to walk in His footsteps. And so, this verse is a glimpse into the way God’s mind works. He makes plans, decides on a purpose, and then they become reality. This has nothing to do with positive thinking or pop-psychology. This is entirely about determining through faith that the will of God is going to be accomplished in our lives. When we plan something, using our faith in God, we have to rise to another plane of thought and reality. Faith cannot function when we have the world’s mindset. Faith demands that we raise our concept of reality, that we look with spiritual eyes and see things that cannot be seen by the average person in this world. Faith sees our plans as sure things, as already being accomplished.
The one thing that can throw a monkey wrench into all of this is for us to shy away from making plans and purposes. Faith requires boldness and audacity. Faith requires belief in a strong God that will keep His word. My prayer is that you will start planning.