Here is the first post in the series.
Here is the second post in the series.
Here is the third post in the series.
I have to agree with Rich's comment a couple posts ago. The journey was better than the "Aha!" moment for me, and praise the Lord for it. The Aha was beautiful, though.
How could a person seek the Lord, find a gate, and it be the wrong one? What would cause the Lord of Glory to reject a man who was trying to find his way to heaven?
That man would have trusted himself instead of God.
Our God is jealous, and He is offended by those who trust in their own righteousness. He is our Bridegroom, the Eternal Lamb, and the Mighty One of Israel. He has declared Himself to be for us, and to have prepared a Way - The Way - for us to enter into His Holy Presence.
A man who falls in love with his own religious attainments will gain nothing from the Lord.
Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass [yourselves] about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks [that] ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
The whole thing is there. These men are trying to find God, but finding a way to make Him angry instead. Men who actually find the narrow path, even when it is hidden, don't do it by lighting fires and seeking out logical answers. They trust in the Name of the Lord, and stay themselves upon Him. There is one more clue, though. It is hidden in the first verse of Is 50.
Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you?
It's about love.
Love vaunts not itself, and these men with their sparks and torches are impressed with the religion they have wrought. They think they have made a perfect way to God, and they trust the work of their own minds, their own hands, and their own hearts.
They don't love God.
He will not reward their works.
The rest of Is. 50 tells how much the Messiah will suffer for love of His people. Is. 50:10 refers to a voice, the voice of "his servant." That verse should really be written, "His Servant", because the voice is that of Christ in His work as Deliverer.
The Gate is Strait, because only one who loves with abandon can fit through. The Way is Narrow because Jesus only lights the littlest portion of it for us as we walk. Jesus does not hesitate to tell how narrow the gate is, because He sets very high standards for His bride. Anyone can pass through, though, because once we leave off our own righteousness, we can finally accept the righteousness of Christ.
Love and trust are the things we need to pass through this gate, and He is the One Who will walk with us all the way to the Throne Room.
If you have read all the way to this point, I have three hopes for you.
- That my writing did not bore you stiff. I have learned that my level of excitement does not always translate to the written word.
- You enjoyed taking a long look at that verse.
- Maybe you even like idea of letting a hard question drive your meditation on the Word, and will try it yourself sometime!
I solicit comments on all three hopes.
There is one more post in the series, but this is the last post of the actual study.