". . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised of our iniquities . . ."
The word "iniquity" is not a good word - and God knows how we hate it! But the consequences of iniquity cannot be escaped.
The prophet reminds us clearly that the Saviour was bruised for our iniquities.
We deny it, and say "No!" but the fingerprints of all mankind are plain evidence against us - the fingerprints of man found in every dark cellar and in every alley and in every dimly lighted evil place throughout the world. God knows man from man, and it is impossible to escape our guilt and place our moral responsibility upon someone else.
For our iniquities and our transgressions He was bruised and wounded - and Israel's great burden and amazing blunder was her judgment that this wounded One on the hillside beyond Jerusalem was being punished for His own sin!
The prophet foresaw this historic error or judgement, and he himself was a Jew, saying, "We thought He was smitten of God. We thought that God was punishing Him for His own iniquity for we did not know then that God was punishing Him for our transgressions and our iniquities."
For our sakes, He was profaned by ignorant and unworthy men! (Renewed Day by Day - A.W. Tozer)
N.J. Hiebert - 4116
"And this I pray . . . that ye may approve things that are excellent."
As a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was skipping stones across the surface of a smooth lake. Inevitably, ripples would flow from the impact of the stone.
It's like that with choices. Every choice we make creates a ripple effect on our lives as well as on the lives of others. The choices we have made throughout life determine where we are and what we are becoming.
Choices are also telling. What we really want, love, and think show up in the choices we make.
It's no wonder then that Paul urged us to make "excellent" choices - choices that emanate from a heart fully committed to Jesus. He stated that when our love abounds in knowledge and discernment, we are able to understand what is best, so that we may "approve the things that are excellent" (Philippians 1:9-10). Excellent choices are the proof of a life that is deeply committed to Jesus and His ways, and they have the ripple effect of filling our lives "with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (verse 11).
As a friend of mine wisely told me, our lives are not made by the dreams we dream but by the choices we make. Let's make excellent ones! (Joe Stowell)
Do a deed of simple kindness,
Though its end you may not see;
It may reach, like widening ripples,
Down a long eternity.
Make an excellent choice and watch the ripple effect of blessing.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 2007, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.
N.J. Hiebert - 4117