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July 21 Today’s Reading: Isaiah 31-34
“Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty.”
When Sennacherib, with his immense Assyrian army, was about to attack Jerusalem, he sent Rabshakeh with a railing, blasphemous message to Hezekiah and his people (2 Kings 18).When Hezekiah heard the threats and blasphemies of the proud idolater, “He rent his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of God” (2 Kings 19:1).Then he called for the priests and sent them covered with sackcloth to the prophet of God (2 Kings 19:2-5). The people of Jerusalem had seen their king in humiliation, arrayed in sackcloth, wearing the garments of humility. But Isaiah, speaking by divine inspiration, sent a message to the people to cheer their hearts. His message was, “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty.” And they did (2Chronicles 32:27-30).
There is in Isaiah's words a message to cheer our hearts today. There is a nobler King here than Hezekiah. He was the historical figure Isaiah had in mind. But the King spoken of here by the Spirit of God is the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Prince and Monarch of the universe.
We have seen our beloved King in utter humiliation. In the days of his flesh, he was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). While he lived in this world, sorrow was his robe, reproach was his coat, and adversity was his bread. None was more afflicted than the son of man. When he died, he died the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross. Reproach broke his heart. He was beaten, mocked, nailed to the cross, hung up naked before a mob of drunks and cruel Pharisees, who, as they watched him die, spit in his face, beat him with their fists, plucked out his beard, and sang taunting, jeering songs of scorn.
But, who can imagine the humiliation that was his when our adorable and adored Savior was made sin for us and forsaken of his Father that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, and never be forsaken of God!
Now we see our Lord Jesus triumphant over all his enemies! Now faith beholds the King in his beauty, returning with the dyed garments of Edom, robed in the splendor of victory. He no longer wears the purple robe of mockery. He is clothed with royal garments head to foot. He no longer wears a crown of thorns. A crown of glory now adorns the mighty Victor's brow. Around his waist there is the golden belt of conquest. From his side swing the keys of death, hell, and the grave. And he sits upon the throne of majesty, glory, and universal dominion. His beauty is his glorious, unrivalled, incontestable sovereignty and dominion as King of the universe, King by right of his conquests as our crucified, risen Redeemer!
All God’s church sings of her Bridegroom, “He is altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16). Christ is lovely. Christ is very lovely. Christ is most lovely. Christ is always lovely. Christ is altogether lovely! On his head are many crowns (Revelation 19:12). Christ Jesus wears the crown of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, a Prince who can never be defeated or overthrown, a Master who has the heart allegiance of all his servants, an Intercessor who can never fail, a Brother who is full of love, a Forerunner who for us is entered into glory, and a God whose purpose is sure, whose dominion is unfailing! His beauty is his glorious, unrivalled, incontestable sovereignty and dominion as King of the universe, King by right of his conquests as our crucified, risen Redeemer!