Numbers 26, Isaiah 16, Psalm 131

Today’s readings are Numbers 26, Isaiah 16, and Psalm 131.

This devotional is about Isaiah 16:5: “In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.”

Moab was a nation on the other side (eastern) of the Jordan River from Israel. It was a nation that descended from Lot and his eldest daughter when they committed incest after the destruction of Sodom (see Genesis 19:37). Isaiah 15 &16 contain a prophesy against Moab but within those chapters lie one of the lesser-known prophecies of Christ here in Isaiah 16:5.

This prophecy about Christ began by saying, “In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it.” The words “love” and “faithfulness” are parallel ideas referring to the same thing which is God’s covenant loyalty to David. God made promises to David, called the Davidic covenant. In that covenant, God promised David, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam 7:16). This verse in Isaiah 16:5 repeated that promise (“one from the house of David,” v. 5c) because of God’s covenant loyalty. The last two phrases of the verse described the Messianic king God had promised to send: “one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness” (v. 5d, e).

The fulfillment of this promise is still in the future, even for us. When Jesus establishes his kingdom, Israel and the world will finally have a ruler who judges with justice and quickly does what is right. It will be an incredible contrast to the corruption, incompetence, and self-aggrandizement that is so common in political leaders today. Human society will flourish like it never has before because Jesus, our righteousness and righteous king, will be in charge forever.

Until that day, our job is to live faithfully, like citizens in exile, to the kingdom values Jesus taught us and to encourage others to prepare for the kingdom by submitting in faith to our king Jesus. As we keep the hope of a perfect, righteous, eternal home in our minds, it will help us to make godly choices in our lives and to speak the gospel message to those in the world around us.

Numbers 34, Psalm 78:38–72, Isaiah 26, 1 John 4

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Numbers 34, Psalm 78:38–72, Isaiah 26, 1 John 4. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 26.

Isaiah 24-27 records a prophecy about the future. It was future to Isaiah, of course, but it is still future to us because it addresses the kingdom of God which has not yet fulfilled the promises in this section. Our passage today begins with the words, “In that day…” which start telling us what life will be like in Christ’s kingdom. First, it will be a secure place because verse 1 says it is a “strong city” where God’s salvation serves to fortify it. That may keep evil doers out but the gates are wide open for the righteous according to verse 2. If only these things were true today! The prosperity of the wicked and the persecution of the righteous are enough to discourage anyone. But verses 3-4 turn our attention to the present. What do we do when the kingdom of God seems far away because the kingdom of now seems so strong and oppressive? We turn our attention to God: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” God’s promises offer so much more security than a bank account with six figures in it or a politician from your party in the White House.

And what makes these promises worth focusing on? What keeps them from being platitudes with no substance? The answer is God’s justice. He will decimate the proud and unjustly powerful according to verses 5-6 while also providing a stable life for those who walk obediently in his word.

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.