Isaiah 5:24-25 24 Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble, And dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25 On this account the anger of the LORD has burned against His people, And He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down, And the mountains quaked; and their corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, But His hand is still stretched out.
Judah was judged for the sin of forsaking the LORD. When Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem, the horrors that Isaiah spoke about came on the people. Their land was laid waste, and many people were killed. In eyes of the Jew of that day it would have seemed that God’s judgment had been dispensed in full. But that was not the case. As Isaiah wrote, “His hand is still stretched out.” The LORD would use Nebuchadnezzar to take Judah into captivity for seventy years. During that time temple worship would end and Judah would cease to exist. Finally, Nehemiah would lead a second exodus out of a heathen country and back to the promised land. It was out of this return that eventually the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would be born, and hope given to all who would believe for the forgiveness of sins.
Our world continues on as though God’s anger and wrath are just stories contained in the bible. The psalmist wrote:
Psalm 36:1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes.
Our society has no fear of God. Many people believe that hell is here on earth. They couldn’t be more wrong. No matter what hardship we may face in this life, it pales in comparison to what awaits those who perish in their sins. God’s hand is still stretched out. Paul wrote in the book of Romans:
Romans 1:18 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness
The person who has not placed their faith in Jesus Chris has the wrath of God abiding over them. They are under a death sentence that has only to be carried out. God’s hand is stretched out. But facing God’s wrath is not inevitable. God has provided a way to avoid His wrath and to enjoy His blessings for eternity. In request to a simple question, “What must I do to be saved?” the Apostle Paul answered:
Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.”
The bible says that Jesus Christ became sin on the cross. God’s wrath was poured out on His Son on that cross. The wrath that we justly deserve because of our sin was placed on Jesus. In His mercy, the Father sent the Son to make a way possible for sinners, like you and me, to have peace with God. That way was through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. Jesus said:
John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
There is only one way to have peace with God, the forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life. That one way is through Christ alone. What is required to know that peace? Understand that you have sinned against a holy God, and that you justly deserve God’s punishment because of your sin. Repent and believe. Repentance means turning from something and towards something else; a change of direction. For the sinner it means turning from your sin and towards Christ. Belief is something that is done by faith. It is trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins. In the book of Romans we read these words:
Romans 10:9-11 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
If you have placed your faith in Christ; if you believe the gospel message, then it is important to say so. Christians need to grow in their faith, and that is best done worshiping and having fellowship with other believers.
God’s hand of sure judgment is still outstretched; but thankfully the hands of his Son were stretched out on a cross, nearly 2000 years ago, and satisfied God’s wrath in the lives of those who believe.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you too, will be saved.