Friday, January 8, 2021

Isaiah 37 -YWHW answers Sennacherib

Chapter 37 of Isaiah remains rooted in the history of national Israel; a continuation of the scenario from chapter 36. Hezekiah seeks counsel from God's prophet, Isaiah. Recall that Hezekiah's advisors had returned from meeting Sennacherib's top man - it was bad news from man from man. Isaiah 37:1 (HCSB) When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the LORDs temple.

The king of Judah was shaken, as a man, by what Assyria intended. His first response was to weep and mourn in a display of humility and to seek wisdom from YHWH. After this, Isaiah 37:2-4 (HCSB) Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”

Hezekiah knew Isaiah was God's prophet; he wanted to hear from him. His message, carried by the three, revealed the dismay and disgrace of what was happening to Israel with a plea for Isaiah to petition YHWH to preserve the remnant of Israel.

Isaiah 37:5-7 (HCSB) So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master this, ‘The LORD says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed Me with. I am about to put a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”

Here's another example of verse number insertions that ought to make you scratch your head - verse 6 begins in the middle of a sentence. Do not allow verse and chapter divisions disrupt your reading and understanding of Scripture.

Isaiah's response to Hezekiah's henchmen is what the saints today need to hear: DO NOT FEAR WHAT MAN MAY DO! He tells us to fear not - only believe! YHWH was not ignorant of what Assyria was up to - He knew the king's aid was a blasphemer and He had planned to ruin that man's best life. God would a spirit in Rabshaken that would cause him to fear and then God would cause Rabshaken to be killed. Yes, God did that.

In verses 8 - 13, Sennacherib had moved on to the next city on his march to Jerusalem when Rabshaken caught up with him. The king of Assyria had heard from the prince of Egypt that Judah might be ready to fight them in this town - Libnah. Sennacherib sent a message to Hezekiah, the same as Rabshaken had given earlier, testifying of Assyria's might and Judah's hopelessness. The same taunting style, meant to cause Judah to doubt YHWH and fear Sennacherib.

Isaiah 37:14-20 (HCSB) Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the LORD’s temple and spread it out before the LORD. Then Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God—You alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. Listen closely, LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, LORD, and see. Hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. LORD, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. Now, LORD our God, save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD—You alone.

Again, Hezekiah went alone to seek wisdom from YHWH. This time we see what was on the king's mind. He admits the Assyrians' are fearful men and have defeated nations that followed gods that were not God. He adores and worships the one true God who created all things and rules all things. And he cries out for YHWH - the God of Judah! - to save them from Assyria so that everyone on earth would know the YWHW is God and there is none other. Proper prayer seeks to bring glory to God. Hezekiah did not have his reputation on his tongue but the honor and glory of God who had promised to all to keep a man on the throne of David forever.

God sends Isaiah to answer the prayers of the king of Judah. Isaiah 37:21-22a (HCSB) Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: The LORD, the God of Israel, says: Because you prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word the LORD has spoken against him."

Beginning in verse 22b, YHWH has a lengthy message for Assyria, beginning with His declared affection for the afflicted "daughters" Zion and Jerusalem, which scorn Sennacherib and mock him behind his back - knowing YHWH will avenge them because the king of Assyria had mocked and waged war against the Holy One of Israel; God Himself! All the plans of destruction carried by Assyria were proudly announced by them as their own accomplishments. Isaiah 37:26 (HCSB) God asks, "Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. I have now brought it to pass." All the destruction at the hands of the Assyrians were His doing! Isaiah 37:28-29 (HCSB) "But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. Because your raging against Me and your arrogance have reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came." Creator God will show the Assyrians whose in charge - He will put His hook in their nose and His bit in their mouth to make them go back to where they started. It's as if He had said, in another place, Proverbs 21:1 (HCSB) "A king’s heart is like streams of water in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses." Indeed - and Sennacherib's heart was subject to YHWH's hand, He directed it as He chose.

To Hezekiah, God spoke: Isaiah 37:30-32 (HCSB) “‘This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem and survivors, from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.’"

No matter what Assyria threatened them with, they were to count on God's provision. The remnant would take root and bear fruit; the remnant from both "daughters" - Jerusalem and Zion. And the zeal of YHWH would accomplish this. Has God rejected His people? God forbid! Though the number of Israel's sons be like the sand of sea, only the remnant will be saved, for YHWH will execute His sentence completely and decisively on the earth (Paul, in Romans 11 and 9, where He quotes Isaiah).

YHWH has a final word for Sennacherib - he will not enter Jerusalem nor even shoot an arrow into it. He will go back to where he started. Isaiah 37:34b-35 (HCSB) This is the LORDs declaration. I will defend this city and rescue it because of Me and because of My servant David.” Here is God's own declaration of why the remnant will be saved: for His name and His servant David's sake. The Messiah was the promised son of David that made David valuable. All is from God, through God, and for God.

Here's how it played out, YHWH's decree: Isaiah 37:36-37 (HCSB) Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morningthere were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.

BOOM! Proud, arrogant, tyrannical king of Assyria - defeated by an angel of YWHW. Do you fear the wrath of those tyrants who plan to seize power in the US on 20 Jan? Do you not know that, as with Sennacherib, all their goings up and down are known by Him, are directed by Him? Do you not think His counsel for us would be exactly the same today as it was for Hezekiah so many years ago? Trust in God for your daily bread, do not fear man - only believe on Him!

Some 20 years later, here's how Sennacherib ended. Isaiah 37:38 (HCSB) One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.

Appels fall close to apple trees. Men who do evil tend to die at the hands of evil men; even kin. This is the way of the world. It is not the way of God's people. Vengeance is YWHW's, not yours or mine. As one author put it, to be disappointed in one's self reveals misplaced trust. Trust the King - not your ability to follow Him! No matter how you or I try to make things work out "good" - we should NEVER trust that we can make things right. Trust the King - alone! Let no other trust intrude.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Isaiah 36 - Anchored in History

The 14th year of Hezekiah's reign was 701 B.C. Twenty one years prior, Assyria had conquered the northern kingdom and had pressured Judah to pay an annual ransom - protection money like the US mafia is infamous for. Now, Judah has fallen; perhaps the annual tribute failed to satisfy Sennacherib, who became king of Assyria in 703.

Isaiah 36:2-3 (HCSB) Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. The Assyrian stood near the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller’s Field. Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to him.

Lachish was an important city in Judah, a garrison some 30 miles west of Jerusalem. This aid to the king was sent with a massive army and he stood at the same place Isaiah had stood when he confronted Ahaz (see chapter 7 and verse 3). 3 important officials from Judah were sent to meet him, including Shebna - who was responsible for the king's household (chapter 22:15). This display was to show Assyria Judah was taking this invasion seriously.

Isaiah 36:4-7 (HCSB) The Rabshakeh said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: What are you relying on? I say that your strategy and military preparedness are mere words. What are you now relying on that you have rebelled against me? Look, you are trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will enter and pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. Suppose you say to me, ‘We trust in the LORD our God.’ Isn’t He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You are to worship at this altar’?

Sennacherib's aid is not polite, replaying a sarcastic message from his king, who saw Israel's God as merely another god among countless others. By relying on Egypt to protect them (recall how Egypt was shown by YHWH as totally inadequate in chapter 30:3-7), Israel was demonstrating their lack of faith in YHWH. Sennacherib picked up on this and threw into their teeth. He also reminded them that Hezekiah had torn down some of the (pagan) places of worship that Israel had a habit of clinging to - this to try and drive a wedge between the king of Judah and his people.

The Assyrian continued: Isaiah 36:8-10 (HCSB) Now make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! How then can you drive back a single officer among the weakest of my master’s officers and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? Have I attacked this land to destroy it without the LORD’s approval? The LORD said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”

Since Israel has shown she doesn't trust in YHWH, she is taunted to submit to Assyria, as Sennacherib's aid implies Israel doesn't have riders, much less horses, with which to wage war. The least of his officers would be able to withstand all the machinery of war Israel could bring. The might and success of Assyria convinced her king that Israel's God had sanctioned his conquest of both kingdoms.

There were men of Judah within the hearing of this discussion, leading to this. Isaiah 36:11-12 (HCSB) Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew within earshot of the people who are on the wall.” But the Rabshakeh replied, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men who are sitting on the wall, who are destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

The 3 representatives of Hezekiah feared for their personal safety and their reputation back home, asking the Assyrian to speak in a language the Jewish people did not know. But the Assyrian would have none of it, replying with what must have been the most rude, crude way imaginable to communicate how powerless Israel was.

He then addresses the men of Judah directly. Isaiah 36:13-20 (HCSB) Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly in Hebrew: Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! This is what the king says: “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot deliver you. Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD will certainly deliver us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’” Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make peace with me and surrender to me. Then every one of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree and drink water from his own cistern until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the power of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria from my power? Who among all the gods of these lands ever delivered his land from my power? So will the LORD deliver Jerusalem.”

The men of Judah were told, repeatedly, that their own king, Hezekiah, was unable to save or protect them. Hezekiah's reliance upon YHWH is mocked and presented as ineffective, whereas the king of Assyria is presented as almighty and compassionate. The false ever tries to sell itself as the real thing, always failing to deliver what is promised. No other god was able to stand before Assyria - Arpad and Hamath were well known conquests in Syria. Why would the men of Judah persist in thinking YHWH would deliver them in the face of such great opposition?

Isaiah 36:21-22 (HCSB) But they kept silent; they didn’t say anything, for the king’s command was, “Don’t answer him.” Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him the words of the Rabshakeh.

The 3 emissaries of Hezekiah had no authority to negotiate with Assyria. Their job was to listen and report back to the king of Judah. They did this in the common way that conveyed distress and mourning. Their report to Hezekiah was like that of the 10 spies sent across the Jordan - we cannot stand before these people!

Such was the dire state of Judah in 701 B.C. Who can relate to political defeat and the turmoil that brings? Who doesn't have a little bit of uncertainty in what the new regime will bring? In the next chapter of Isaiah we see Hezekiah's response. What is your response - and mine - in our day? Do we fear the Assyrians who have conquered our land, mocked our God, and ridiculed us for trusting in Him? Brothers and sisters, let not your heart be troubled! Believe in God and the One He sent! This place and time is not our home. The Lord Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and He has promised to come back and receive us to Himself so that where He is we will be also! (John 14:1-3). Trust in Him and live like you do! He is faithful! He has promised it and He will do it! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Isaiah 35 - The Ransomed Return to Zion

Chapter 35 of Isaiah brings good news to those who know and love the Messiah. Most Bibles title it something along the lines of "The Ransomed Return to Zion." This is good news!

Isaiah 35:1-2 (HCSB) The wilderness and the dry land will be glad; the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose. It will blossom abundantly and will also rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.

What a contrast to the gloom and doom of the land in the nations of chapter 34! The desert will blossom abundantly like a rose and rejoice with joy and singing - as when the trees clap their hands! This wilderness is not left to scavengers but is redeemed by God for the redeemed of God. And all with see the splendor and glory of YHWH as He reveals Zion.

Isaiah 35:3-4 (HCSB) Strengthen the weak hands, steady the shaking knees! Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; He will save you.”

We see a New Covenant allusion to this: Hebrews 12:7, 12 - 13 (HCSB) "Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead." God's vengeance is coming upon those who hate Him, retribution for the evil they've done. This same God, vengeful towards some, is merciful towards others. He WILL save His own - the Great Shepherd will find EVERY lost sheep and bring EACH one home to the sheepfold of God.

Isaiah 35:5-7 (HCSB) Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy, for water will gush in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the parched ground will become a pool of water, and the thirsty land springs of water. In the haunt of jackals, in their lairs, there will be grass, reeds, and papyrus.

Jesus referred to the first part of this passage when John's disciples came to Him with the question, "Are you the One who is to come or should we look for another?" Matthew 11:4-6 (HCSB) "Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.”" This is how we know this passage in Isaiah describes the kingdom of God given through Jesus - He said it is proof that He is the One is to come. Again we see parched land revived, scavengers no longer at home because of this. If this is not cause to join the land and rejoice with great joy I fail to find any reason to do so.

Isaiah 35:8 (HCSB) A road will be there and a way; it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for the one who walks the path. Even the fool will not go astray.

In chapter 11 we read of a highway that brings God's remnant to Zion; here that road is a Holy Way that no rebels can travel. This road is set apart for those clothed in the righteousness of Christ, who walk His path; even fools that once denied Him will be kept on the narrow path since they now belong to Him.

Isaiah 35:9-10 (HCSB) There will be no lion there, and no vicious beast will go up on it; they will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk on it, and the redeemed of the LORD will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.

Zion is in view here - no vicious animals or people will be there. Here we see them outside instead of tame, not in conflict what Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 11:6-7 (HCSB) "The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together, and a child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox." Two references to Zion with word pictures using animals to describe the peace the redeemed will have. Neither reference should be seen as a focus on the animals, but on the peace of God He gives His people. We will walk on His revived land (new earth), wherein peace rules. We will sing His praise without end, full of joy and gladness. Not only with there be no vicious beasts, there will no sorrow.

Revelation 21:1-4 (HCSB) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.

God's plan of redemption, unfolded from Genesis through Revelation - it's all about the One who was to come, the promised Messiah. He gives joy unbounded to those He brings into His sheepfold. Do you know Him? There is no politician, no business, no husband or wife, no child or parent that provide this peace and joy. Christ ALONE gave His life to save His OWN; to bring the ransomed to Zion.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Isaiah 34 - Judgment against the nations.

Isaiah 34 is titled by many Bibles as "The Judgment Against the Nations" while the KJV has it as "The judgment with which God avenges His church." What is clear is that this chapter DOES reveal God's judgment against the nations; and it is clear in many places in earlier chapters that this judgment is because the nations were used by God to punish Israel for rebellion. Wicked men do what wicked men do - and there are consequences for that. God uses wicked men for His purposes but their wickedness does not proceed from Him, but from within the men. Read Acts 2:22 & 23 for a clear example of this.

Isaiah 34:1-2 (HCSB) You nations, come here and listen; you peoples, pay attention! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it, the world and all that comes from it. The LORD is angry with all the nations— furious with all their armies. He will set them apart for destruction, giving them over to slaughter.

This is notice, not to the pagan nations around Israel, but to the entire world. YHWH is angry with ALL the nations and their military and He calls them to sit up and listen! To what are they to listen? God has sanctified them - SET THEM APART - for destruction. God is not passive towards His enemies, He does not, as some teach, merely "pass over them" and allow them drift to destruction. He sets them apart, devotes them, gives or delivers them over (Romans 1:26) to their destruction.

Isaiah 34:3-4 (HCSB) Their slain will be thrown out, and the stench of their corpses will rise; the mountains will flow with their blood. All the heavenly bodies will dissolve. The skies will roll up like a scroll, and their stars will all wither as leaves wither on the vine, and foliage on the fig tree.

These two verses ought to pull you to John's Apocalypse, where we see blood flowing far and high (Rev 14:19 & 20) and we also see the sky rolled up like a scroll (Rev 6:12-14). We also find Peter alluded to this in 2 Peter 3:10 (HCSB) "But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed." Scripture interprets Scripture - the apostolic references show us Isaiah's vision here is in regards to the day of the Lord's return. The vineyard and fig tree being withered away are another word picture of temporal wealth being reduced to nothing.

Isaiah 34:5-7 (HCSB) When My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, it will then come down on Edom and on the people I have set apart for destruction. The LORD’s sword is covered with blood. It drips with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild oxen will be struck down with them, and young bulls with the mighty bulls. Their land will be soaked with blood, and their soil will be saturated with fat.

The imagery we're used to seeing in John's Apocalypse keeps showing up here! Read Rev 19:11-16 to see the Lord Jesus presented as the victorious King, whose robe is stained with blood and wields a sword to defeat the nations. See also Deut 32:41-43; Jere 46:10; and Ezek 21:3-5 for direct correlations to Isaiah's words. Again, symbols of temporal wealth (livestock and land) are described as slaughtered and made worthless. Mother Nature is not in control of the weather or circumstance or chance. There is one God by Whom all things were made and in Whom all things are held together. He directs the clouds where to go drop the rain He metes out destruction on those chosen to be vessels of wrath.

Isaiah 34:8-10 (HCSB) For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a time of paying back Edom for its hostility against Zion. Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch, her soil into sulfur; her land will become burning pitch. It will never go out—day or night. Its smoke will go up forever. It will be desolate, from generation to generation; no one will pass through it forever and ever.

Here we see why Edom - an ancient nation south of Moab - is a vessel of wrath; she has been hostile to Zion, the people of YHWH. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord! And He will have it! Sodom and Gomorrah are brought before us to show what end Edom will face: burning pitch, sulfur, and smoke from a never-ending fire. Edom will pass into shadow, never again to be a nation but only a memory. A signpost of warning for those who disregard God or stand, shaking their fists at Him.

Verses 11 - 15 describe the desolation of Edom with various word pictures, including the presence of unclean birds (owls), hyenas and wild goats, thorns and chaos. YHWH will stretch out a plumb line to make sure the plan is complete, the destruction comprehensive - and precisely as His wisdom has determined it should be. Edom will have no more kings - a line of rulers more ancient than Israel's. Edom's princes will come to nothing. This is a contrast to the righteous king and just rulers of God's kingdom that we read of in chapter 32.

Isaiah 34:16-17 (HCSB) Search and read the scroll of the LORD: Not one of them will be missing, none will be lacking its mate, because He has ordered it by my mouth, and He will gather them by His Spirit. He has ordained a lot for them; His hand allotted their portion with a measuring line. They will possess it forever; they will dwell in it from generation to generation.

This "scroll of YHWH" is likely the Scriptures Israel had in her possession, she had the recurring habit of putting them aside and following after the pagan nations. Isaiah tells them to find and read YHWH's Words, wherein they will find His hand of providence providing all they had need of as well as keeping the wolves they desired from consuming them entirely. Verse 15 ended with a picture of wild, unclean birds making nests in Edom; verse 16 tells us God will insure none of the birds will miss their mates. This is because God had ordained it, has gathered these birds by His Spirit, and allotted their portion by His plumb line. NOTHING is left to "chance."

If you are unhappy with your circumstances, be careful you do not grumble against God, as though you deserve something better. This is my daily challenge right now, as I have been looking for work for 6 months and tend to get discouraged. But God is my strength and my portion - we who are in Christ have no reason and no right to grumble against that which God has allotted to us. Praise Him in "good times" and in "bad times." He is always working for good for those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose. For those He has known from eternity past He has called and is causing us to be conformed to His Son. And the end of all this is our glorification and eternal life with Christ Jesus on the new earth. What reason DO we have to grumble? To the contrary, we have no reason to grumble - but countless reasons of far more weight to rejoice!