The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law,[a] and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. -Isaiah 2:1-5 I am currently going through my yearly process of reading through all of Scripture, and, unlike my previous studies, am doing so alongside a group of others spread out throughout the country. Recently, we read of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, who were serving as priests under their father, and who rushed in to the tent to offer incense before the Lord that was unauthorized (Leviticus 10). They were consumed by a Holy Fire, and destroyed before God. My first time reading this, I thought "how cruel, how could God do this?" But as I read (And reread) this passage, I am beginning to understand more and more why this happened: God is Holy, and to come in to His presence, impure, rebellious, unauthorized or unprepared is a danger for everyone. God's presence is Holy, and as such cannot be treated lightly; because He is so good, He is a danger to those who enter His presence in an impure or unworthy manner. Nadab and Abihu, having received instruction from Moses, were still rebellious in their hearts, and though they sought to worship God and accomplished their duties, they wanted to do so on their terms, and their worship was rejected. God is Holy, and will be approached as such. How often have I approached God in an unworthy manner? How often have I been ill prepared to be in His presence? So now, though there is no prescribed manner in the word for me to do so, I go to a quiet place, I remove my shoes and socks, barefoot as Moses was before the burning bush, I usually light some incense, and I make sure there are no distractions. I seek God in the quiet. After I am finished in the word, I drop to my knees, literally (the older I get this becomes a sacrifice!) and I pray, begging God for forgiveness for my shortcoming, praying for my family and church, and seeking God's will and presence in my life. I don't say this to boast, nor to get praise; I just want to tell you this is how I prepare t be in His presence. Though the word says to go boldly before the Throne of Grace, we need to humble ourselves before a Holy God. Boldness, partnered with meekness and a humble heart, is how we should approach our God. The blood of Christ covers our impurity and shame, but we need to approach a Holy God with the respect that He deserves. We should prepare our hearts to be in His presence, and walk in that preparedness everywhere we go, because His presence, as it did with Israel in the Desert, as it rested on the Ark of the Covenant, goes with us through the Holy Spirit. Don't be caught unprepared. Isaiah 2:6-22
For you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners. Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. So man is humbled, and each one is brought low— do not forgive them! Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty. The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft. And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground,[b] from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.
In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?