Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 37

The Lord Will Defend

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 50:1-11, Isaiah 51:1-23, Isaiah 52:1-15, Matthew 27:26-31, John 16:33

Text: Isaiah 50:1-11, Isaiah 51:1-23, Isaiah 52:1-15, Matthew 27:26-31, John 16:33

I lingered at the auction from early morning until late afternoon, patiently waiting to place my bid on that old, knotty pine corner hutch. Though the piece would have little value to most, to me it was a priceless heirloom—a gift from my great-grandfather to my Granny years before I was born. A simple yet costly purchase that still spoke silently of a humble farmer’s extravagant love for his beloved bride.

I’d been looking forward to having that cherished part of my grandparents’ lives in our home. But as the auctioneer began his chant, it became apparent I wasn’t the only one with an affinity for my Granny’s hutch.

The bidding rapidly escalated and then swept past my “top-dollar” limit. My heart raced in unbelief, but I pressed forward, affirming with every nod my determination to claim that prize. But eventually, with tears of regret streaming down my face, I lowered my number and signaled “no” to the auctioneer’s insistent plea. I’d lost the battle; the only remaining piece of my Granny’s life would belong to another.

Devastated, I glanced up and met the eye of the auctioneer as he bellowed, “Sold!” He seemed to be looking at me—but no, he was looking beyond me. I turned, expecting to find the new owner of the coveted hutch, but instead, I met the tender gaze of my beloved grandfather. “The hutch is yours, girl,” he whispered, as he quietly handed me his bidding card. “I knew how much you wanted it.”  

Tears flowed as I began to piece together all that had unfolded. Someone who had deeply loved me all my life had been fighting for me all along, working on my behalf, though I’d been totally unaware of it. Just as loss and utter defeat seemed to have won the last word, my defender was revealed.

The last week of Jesus’ life must have seemed similar to those who followed Him. With every fiber of their being they believed He was the Messiah. Their hearts found peace knowing the prophecies foretold that their Messiah would also be the conquering King.

Yet before their eyes, Jesus was being horrifically humiliated. He had been wrongfully condemned by several kangaroo courts and subjected repeatedly to public shaming. Maligned, brutally scourged, He was ultimately put to death by crucifixion.

Why?

Why was Jesus not defending Himself?
Why had the Rescuer not rescued Himself?
Why was our Messiah not putting an end to this dreadful atrocity?
Why was a brutal, hate-filled humanity allowed to lead the Promised One as a lamb to the slaughter?                                                                                                                      

To limited eyes that can only see what’s temporal, it seemed as if all was lost—that nothing remained but indescribable loss and utter defeat. But sin and death would not have the final word. Concealed from the disciples’ human eyes, a battle of magnificent proportions was being waged and won for all eternity. The Father was redeeming those enslaved by sin through the crushing of Jesus, our Messiah.

No one rescued Jesus from the suffering that purchased our redemption. No one came to His defense. No, He chose to suffer so that the price for our sin would be paid in full. Even now, He is conspiring for our good.

Hallelujah, our Defender has come!

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Carrie Gaul is a biblical correspondent for Revive Our Hearts. She and her husband Dennis have two married children and are enjoying grandchildren. Carrie has a deep love for God’s Word and a passion to see women grow in ever-increasing intimacy with Jesus through the study and application of His Word.

  • Michelle C.

    So good. So so good. Thanks Jesus.

  • Sitting here in tears, and so utterly humbled at what Jesus did for me, for us all. Sometimes it’s so hard to wrap my head around the fact that Jesus chose to die for me…that kind of love is unfathomable more often than not. What a Savior we have in Jesus!

    And Carrie, your story hit me right in the middle of my heart. Just precious. ❤

  • Lydia Romanin

    The hook for this post was so moving. I cried for some reason. I want to unpack why this opener tugged at my heart strings, but how wonderful that Christ redeems us right at the moment where we feel that life has outbid us at hope! Praise God! Thanks for sharing, Carrie. I loved this reflection. Indeed, our Redeemer is near, we have nothing to fear!

  • Mary Joseph

    Thank you Carrie! I’ve seen you speak at Bair Lake Bible Camp! Super excited to see you guest write here!

    I read a commentary to those last verses from Isaiah chapter 52 and wanted to share: it is all about suffering. So grateful for this community. https://bible.org/seriespage/19-triumph-suffering-servant-isaiah-5213-5312

  • amyloukuo

    “Someone who had deeply loved me all my life had been fighting for me all along, working on my behalf, though I’d been totally unaware of it. Just as loss and utter defeat seemed to have the last word, my defender was revealed.” What a beautiful reminder, much needed today, that my Loving God has always been, and still is, working in the invisible fabric of my life on my behalf. Hallelujah!

  • All of these readings are True and wonderful beyond my wildest imagination. But today’s scripture and today’s “anecdote” (for lack of a better word) struck a deep chord with me. I am so grateful! Jesus is so good

  • Christina

    A beautiful story that brought me to tears. Such deep truth. Thank you.

  • Melody Suarez

    I’m going through one of the hardest seasons of nursing school. These next 8 weeks are supposed to be really tough and I find myself wanting to be defensive or have my guard up, as if I can save myself or do it alone. There might be a lot of times where I feel helpless in these next 8 weeks, but it makes me remember that verse that says “the lord will fight for you, you need only be still”
    I’m also struggling with my fiancé understanding that my attention cannot be solely dedicated to him, and just tonight we fought about that and I was trying to defend my case with everything I have to the point where I got really angry and frustrated.
    I feel like it’s in these moments that I need to let go, and let God defend my case, not me. He is my Defender, He pleads for me even when I am wrong and sinful.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Melody. Asking the Lord to continue to remind you that He is your Defender and that He has you. Grateful for you!

      – Stormye

    • Tawney Myatt

      I am also going through I hard 8 weeks in nursing school! I can relate to you! I’ll be praying that the Lord reveals himself to you in tough and stressful moments! Praying!

  • Its awesome how He fights for us

  • Thank you so much for this! I have been going through a very rough patch in my life, and I really needed this. Thank you God for giving this woman the blessing to write something so touching!

    • Emily B.

      I’m sorry things have been rough for your lately. Keep holding on to God and know how much you’re loved!

  • It struck me this morning, as I read the devotion with tears in my eyes, that I can be moved by “real-life” stories like this but so often fail to see God acting as my defender. I have truly loved studying this book of Isaiah, and I am praying that this Easter season, the knowledge of my Defender and Savior would be real to me like never before.

  • Awesome read this morning! What an awesome God we serve! That you Carrie for your story that brought to life the reading so very well. What great love God has lavished on us! Amen?

  • Thank you Jesus for suffering for us! Thank you for paying the ultimate price

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Keri McCue

    “Just as loss and utter defeat seemed to have won the last word, my defender was revealed.” These words are an amazing comfort to my soul today. <3 I'm constantly in awe of how God knows exactly what I need to hear. Grateful for SRT for speaking the truth of His word and sharing it with us.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Diane Huntsman

    I can’t imagine being the disciples, helplessly watching their Leader and Lord be mistreated beyond comprehension and willingly so.. they knew His power, they’d witnessed so much, and yet they stand by utterly helpless watching the nightmare unfold.. they didn’t fully understand the extent Jesus had to go to pay the price, to fully become the propitiation for all the sin of mankind.. I can only imagine the paralyzingly fear they felt, the anger too.. to watch someone you love be mistreated, that someone being sinless, full of love, care, incomprehensible compassion.. such hard moments.. but Sunday was coming.. redemption was within their reach…but until then, they battle ensued within them as to believe all He said was true.. circumstances made His promises seem null and void.. as with the disciples, we too cannot allow circumstances, no matter how bleak, to determine our faith.. faith is believing even when nothing makes sense.. claiming promises in the face of death.. He meant what He said and His word is true all the live long day! Praise be to God that dark days don’t define the reality of what is to come!! Heaven is ours even when we feel like life is hell on earth! Hallelujah!

    • CJ

      “faith is believing even when nothing makes sense” <3 <3 <3

    • Terri

      “to fully become the propitiation for all the sin of mankind”…what an amazing, humbling, awe-filling thought. We don’t see or hear that word propitiation much any more. Most of our modern bible translations replace it with something else that doesn’t have the full weight of the word propitiation (imho). The Amplified defines propitiation as the atoning sacrifice that holds back the wrath of God that would otherwise be directed at us because of our sinful nature-our worldliness, our lifestyle. Wow! Just think, our Lord, Jesus, died that day to hold back God’s wrath directed at me, directed at you. That is a friend! That is our Friend. Bask in that truth today.

    • Emily B.

      “Claiming promises in the face of death–” such a good description. Thank you for sharing!

  • Thank you for reminding me that there is always someone fighting for my behalf.

  • Isn’t it a nice feeling that you are being held by our defender? something we often forget.

    (dark dolphins, unite! eeeeeeeeeee!)

  • April Heather

    I loved today’s reading and so needed to hear these words~ “He awakens me each morning. He awakens my My ear to listen like those being instructed. The Lord God has opened My ear” (4,5) “The Lord God will help Me” (7) “who among you walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name of Yahweh, let him lean on his God” (10) “Put on the strength of the Lord’s power” (51:9) “joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee” (11) and…I may have to have this tattooed on my arm so I can remind myself every day “because the Lord is going before you, and the God of Israel is your rear guard” ( 52:12) “Be courageous!” (John 16:33) hallelujah! And amen!

  • Isn’t true – that at times you feel like you are the few, the only? In Isaiah 51: 1,2 The faithful remnant may have felt alone because they were few. But God reminded them of their ancestors, the source of their spiritual heritage — Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was only one person, but much came from his faithfulness. If the faithful few would remain, even more could come from them. If we Christians, even a faithful few, remain faithful, think what God can do through us!

  • Oh the JOY of having a defender! He is fighting for me; even when all seems lost, even when hope has faded, even in the midst of tears. He fights for me! His arm is not shortened, he does not slumber, his power reigns!

  • “For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her…” Isaiah 51:3

    Ah, these refreshing words. God is always willing to refresh and use circumstances we wouldn’t deem a second look, to bring life to us in new ways. Within the past few months I have felt worn out by daily tasks. I normally use my off-season to do things I can’t otherwise get to, so that when I start back to work, the house is in order, the kids are well-educated and we are all refreshed and peaceful but that didn’t happen this year. My plans were not my own and each day and week kept getting away from me with more important and immediate needs, so the house is still not in order, projects have been left undone and I was feeling overwhelmed and then God stepped in. My husband unexpectedly lost his job and has been home for the last month, so while my schedule was busier than I wanted it to be with things I can’t say “no” to, my husband has taken to schooling our kiddos, cleaning house, completing “honey-do” lists and blessing me abundantly in the process. I walked out to work three days in a row this weekend and the roles were reversed and there was peace. I know this will change again and my husband will eventually go back to work but as we sit in a “waiting” period I will enjoy the rest God is giving me through this hardship. He has turned a wilderness season of “busy” into a garden like Eden and our family is at peace, even, completely unbeknownst to me, using my skill to answer a stranger’s prayer, over the weekend, in a beautiful way recently and allowing me to see it all play out. He has refreshed me in a season I least expected it turning our desert into flowing rivers of Joy.

    God is so good to use all of our seasons, all we have to do is seek Him and ask. He will be faithful to bring refreshment and comfort when we least expect. Prayerful that as we continue to wait on word for my husband, we continue to use this time to draw closer to God and each other.

    • Missy

      Beautiful words B…. praying for your family to continue to grow closer to Him as you wait for the Father to reveal His plans for your family.

    • She Reads Truth

      Betsy, I am so glad to read this. Encouraged to see the Lord moving in beautiful ways in your life and with your family (especially in this time of trial). So grateful for you!

      – Stormye

  • “To limited eyes that can only see what’s temporal, it seemed as if all was lost…” that struck me today. Isn’t that so true for us now? We only see so much, or so far into what God is doing and sometimes it can feel heavy or despairing. But God, even in this moment is “conspiring for our good”. That is so refreshing and can provide strength and hope when all feels lost.

  • What a wonderful read. Thank you for the prayers for Evan with the burst ear drum. We fly today. Last night an angel at Southwest switched us from a connecting flight to a nonstop flight. So glad Evan only has to go through one flights of pressure changes! We fly at noon.

  • Kovalentine

    Thanks, Heather, for the reminder of that Twila song and Churchmouse for your heart’s cry to wake up. I confess the same. Lord, may Your sacrifice move me out of complacency.

  • Yes ! Bring me also to the cross with my eyes wide open and my heart in humble gratitude. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  • Isaiah 53 reminds me of the Twila Paris song: “How beautiful is the body of Christ.”

  • Churchmouse

    “Wake up! Wake up!”. These words repeat themselves and I notice. Forgive me, Lord for the complacency that has overcome me. I read the familiar words of Your torture and I confess they have become all too familiar. How dare I not be moved when I am reminded of what You willingly and undeservedly did for me. Indeed, wake me up. Bring me to the Cross with my eyes wide open and my heart rent in humble gratitude. Amen.

  • Absolutely beautiful. Tears flowing. Gratitude threatening to explode through my chest. My Savior, I am ashamed at what You sacrificed for my life, my eternity. My eyes, heart and hands seek You. Always.

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