Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I don’t know how you feel on this last day of 2008. Many were glad that 2008 finally comes to an end. They hope to bury all the bad memories of this year forever. Yes. We all look forward to a brighter new year to come. We hope we will not repeat our mistakes or failures. Unfortunately, this world will repeat her failures if she does not recognize her sinfulness according to the sovereign word of God. The Bible says, “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen” (Romans 1:21-22, 25). Unless mankind returns back to God, our hope for a brighter future is still dime; we will continue to repeat our failure of the past, and we will continue to live in our current turmoil or even worse.
Let’s meditate on this promise of God for His children on this last day of 2008: “You will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12). Three things Chambers had observed in this passage and shared in his devotional:
Security from Yesterday: "The God of Israel will be your rear guard." At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God's grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday's sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays (He is our rear guard), and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.
Security for To-morrow: "For the Lord will go before you." This is a gracious revelation that God will be the stronghold at where we have failed. He will watch lest things trip us up again into similar failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rear guard. God's hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearing-house for our conscience.
Security for To-day: "You will not leave in haste or go in flight." As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of recklessness, shallow delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreversible things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities, which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, or let it rests in God’s hands.
Leave the Irreversible Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.
Have a blessed New Year to come and enjoy a great adventure of faith with your beloved Father!
Love you in Christ,