Hear the word of the LORD, You who tremble at His word;
“Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake said,
'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy,'
But they shall be ashamed.” (Isaiah 66:5)
These verses follow a listing that God makes of sacrifices that do not please him, because the people making the sacrifices did not have a relationship with Him. They went through the traditions of animal sacrifices, burnt offerings and incense, but in their daily life they were choosing their own way to live. God says in verse 3 that “their soul delights in their abominations”.
Then he follows to say, “Because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear; but they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.”
It is so important to read a verse and discern its meaning in context of the chapter and book in which it is written. It is also important to discern the meaning of a verse in light of the entire Scriptures.
So we are building up from what God has not delighted in to know that God is aware when those who truly believe in Him are cast out for His ‘name’s sake’. If you are ever treated poorly for being a Christian or for standing by God’s word, you don’t need to be concerned about the person who is hating you. God is aware and more importantly He knows that they hate you because they first hated Him. (Mark 13:13 says, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”)
Therefore, we are to continue onward with our love and relationship with God. We are to persevere to the end. In continuing in our faith our God, He is glorified. His value and worth is seen through our life, by our actions and words and choices.
The Scripture specifically says, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy’. Titus 2:11-14 can help to clarify this verse:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and gold in the present age,
looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
We have salvation. We are shown how to live. We look forward to Jesus return.
In these three, God is brought glory and joy may be seen.
We are saved from eternal death, separation from God, that should always be seen as a source and reason for joy.
Regardless of our circumstances or what sorrows we endure living life, God will supply our needs and heal our hurts. He will carry us even when we can go no further. Joy is not bubbly happiness but a steady sense of knowing God and being known by Him.
And whether before our death or after, we can be sure that Jesus will re-appear and make all that is wrong right.
So what is God’s joy?
God is assuring the believer that Jesus will appear - this is the joy of the believer. In Isaiah Jesus had yet to come, but for us we have Christ. We can experience living with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And moreover, we have the hope of His second coming and eternal heaven.
This does not mean you or I will live perfect, but it does mean we can always be forgiven, receive God’s grace and be right with Him. It also means that we have access to Him and can moment by moment know Him. We can and should hear Him, and obey. By doing this, we can glorify God and make His joy visible. We can also know Him, and thereby we can know joy.
By abiding with God, our joy can be full.
(Photo Credits: It’s A Kind Of Magic part 2 by idaniphotography and excidium III by sorny on DeviantArt)