Scripture Verse for Today: Isaiah 45:2-3
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
These verses had a literal meaning for Cyrus and Israel and their prophecy did come true in history. But they have a very real prophecy for my spiritual life as well. God says “I will go before you”. As I look up the original language for some of these words I see that the Hebrew says something more like “I will cause you to walk and I will face the front for you”. Not only does God walk in front of me to face my path before me but He has a purpose for the path that I take. If I can accept the path He has for me He will make the rough or high places, level and straight. But what is the path He has for me? I would prefer a nice stroll through the garden. But just as Adam and Eve corrupted their garden with sin so the garden of my life has been corrupted also.
Before God can make my paths level and smooth something has to change in me. But I cannot change under my own power. My will is not strong enough on my own to conquer those things that I hide inside. God must violently crush the “gates of bronze”. Bronze, at least in this instance, is not a pure metal. Bronze, is here, probably more a smelted copper and some other metal alloy, meaning to me that bronze is impure. I hold on to things, gates or doorways, which are impure strongholds. Those things that I hide from God, those things that I hide from my friends, God has to crush. He will “cut through bars of iron”. Bars indicate a prison and iron is used to speak of oppression. So does that mean that I’m keeping myself in prison? What kind of oppression does God have to cut through to tear down my stronghold? Maybe I have issues from childhood that I’ve never dealt with. Maybe I cannot forgive. Maybe I have an issue with a sister or brother within the body of my church. The list goes on and on. The devil will use these issues to keep me in bondage. God desires to break it all down. But how will God accomplish that?
Nahum 1:3 says “His way is in the whirlwind and the storm”. That’s not very encouraging. I’ve been afraid of wind since I was about ten and a tornado came through our back pasture taking a close friends house with it. Even the disciples were afraid of the storm. God will break down my strongholds by “giving” me “treasures of darkness”. That sounds kinda bad. How can something that sounds so valuable also sound like something that I do not want. The word “give” means to appoint or to assign, maybe even to be granted. The word for treasures means “storehouses of God for rain, snow, hail, wind, and sea”. Not only I am going to go through tough times but they will be appointed to me by God Himself. Why? For my own protection and so that I may know Him more intimately. God is helping me store up for the really bad times by keeping me close to Him. He wants me to know Him by experience. My God can be trusted in the small storms as well as the hurricanes. The wind may blow but if I let him lead me through the everyday downpours I will know by experience that He can be trusted. Another verse from Nahum says “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” He called me. He summoned me by name. He will guide my steps. He appoints the trials that I will face. By my obedience I will learn to trust Him and He will grant to me the treasures in the secret places. Hidden things revealed to make my path level and smooth. I must walk through the rough places to encounter the storehouse of God and that I want to see. There I will find shelter from the rain, snow, hail, wind, and sea. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” I should look at trials as God’s hidden treasures with the value that lasts forever.