I want to continue the series on what everyone on earth has to deal with when it comes to God. In the first part, I started off by showing how everyone will get to meet God one day:
Everyone makes the world a better place
I want to follow this by spending some time on the promises God made to Himself regarding humanity. It will probably be in two parts to make reading easier.
The revelation we see from Scripture is that every knee shall bow. This is a message that is very visible, appearing in no less than 3 places, once in the Old Testament, and twice in the New Testament, all as direct quotes from God Himself.
In Isaiah 45, starting from verse 18, God is speaking directly to Israel about everlasting salvation. These are public and visible promises, from the God of truth. God confirms how strongly He feels about this when He says (ESV):
Isa 45:21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.
Isa 45:22 “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Isa 45:23 By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
Isa 45:24 “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him.
Isa 45:25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.” .
This is such a powerful summary of the gospel. First we learn about God. He is the only God, who has existed eternally. He is righteous, He is a savior, we can rightfully say He is the only savior. This is followed by His instructions on how to be saved, a command from God Himself to repent. “Turn to me” is a perfect description of what we learn in the NT of what repentance means.
Repent and be saved echos the first message given by Jesus (Mat 4:17). The command is universal, it extends to the extremes of the earth (v22).
Then the crux of the matter: God has sworn by Himself, the one and only God, the most powerful, the most holy, that from His righteousness went forth a word that shall not return without accomplishing His objectives. God felt so strongly about this that He made a promise to Himself.
His promise to Himself is that His word of salvation (repent and be saved), shall result in every knee bowing to Him, and every mouth confessing. This is, as we saw earlier in the verse, a universal statement, it applies to all the earth, so every knee necessarily means all people. What then, will people confess? We see this in the following verses(v24, v25).
God shall be glorified! He shall be given glory, because being saved is a cause for celebration. Every mouth will say that God is righteous and almighty. This is followed by a curious statement about those who were angry at God, which we will address later on, as it fits with the NT passages.
Finally, Israel will be justified. This means exactly the same as we see throughout the ministry of Jesus, that Israel will be made right, literally cleansed before God. This is cause for celebration, as can be seen in the last part of v25. (As we learn in the NT, Israel refers to the elect of God)
Just like every person gets to meet God, either in this life or the next, so will every person bow down before God and confess His power. As we saw, God’s promise to Himself is universal. It applies to every person on earth, which means that those who do not bow down before God in this life, will do so in the next.
Coming back to v24, we see a vivid description of this. Those who were, and are, angry at God, and don’t want to bow down here and now, will be ashamed before God one day. They will come before Him to be judged, and they will acknowledge their guilt shamefully.
Regardless of how you feel now, regardless of your faith or unbelief, you will one day bow down before God and confess His power. From those lips that today deny God, that mock Him every day, those lips that profess faith from an unrepentant heart above unbowing knees, from those lips you will one day confess God’s power. God promised Himself that.
In stark contrast stand those justified, those who already repented and believes, who bowed down and confessed. Those are the ones who are celebrating already.
May you today repent before the Almighty and only God, so that you too will not be shamed, but have cause to celebrate because you are saved.
I will conclude this in part two by speaking about Jesus’s teaching on the matter.