1. We should be people who cry out to the Lord – Isaiah 19:20. Well, why should we cry out to the Lord?
The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, Joel 1:12-14
- Vine – makes the heart joyful. The nature of cheering God and man is lost in us, and so the joy of the Lord needs to be restored in us. Judges 9:13.
- Fig – the character of sweetness and goodness that was once in us isn’t seen anymore. Judges 9:11. It needs restoration too.
- Pomegranate – the character of perfect unity. Each grain of this fruit is kept neatly in order. Unity in our spirit, soul and body has been lost. Unity needs restoration within us.
- Palm tree – symbolises a righteous life. The righteous lives by faith, which has sadly dried up too. Psalms 92:12. This needs restoration.
- Apple tree – nature of sitting at the feet of Jesus. Song of Songs 2:3. The life of prayer and praising has lessened therefore more of murmuring, complaining and disputing has creeped in.
In order to restore these beautiful characters, we need to cry out to the Lord.
2. Restoring Jesus as the centre place of our life – In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt.. Isaiah 19:19. Scripturally, Altar refers to Jesus. When Moses made the Tabernacle, every item in it represented Jesus. Hence, an altar in the midst of Egypt refers to Jesus being the centre place in our life. If He isn’t the fulcrum of our lives, He cannot call us His people either.
Today, we have allowed the sickness in our body, problems and burdens of day today life to take the centre place. The beauty about this Altar is that fire should always be burning on it. Leviticus 6:13. The fire should not go out. Fire refers to Love. When we love Jesus, the fire will always be burning in our hearts and in this way the Altar becomes the centre of our lives.
3. Offering sacrifice and oblation to the Lord – The LORD will reveal himself to the Egyptian people, and then they will acknowledge and worship him, and bring him sacrifices and offerings… Isaiah 19:21. Upon the Altar in the Tabernacle the fire was always burning and people came to offer peace offerings and meat offerings to the Lord.
People of God should be people living in peace one with another (peace offerings) and also doing the will of God (meat offering). A life of praying and praising God should be seen in us always.
(.. to be continued)