Day 208: Every Knee Will Bow, One Way or Another (Isaiah 45:23-25)

Detail of “Every Knee Shall Bow” by J Kirk Richards. Available at https://www.heirloomartco.com/products/j-kirk-richards-every-knee-shall-bow

“By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’ “Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him. In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.””

Isaiah‬ ‭45‬:‭23‬-‭25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Through the Bible: Isaiah 44-48

In college, I spent one summer as a summer missionary in Florida. My partner and I served five different churches in the Sarasota area, assisting with VBS, neighborhood canvassing, and anything else the church found for us to do. And on Sundays, we would lead the worship service. My partner Chuck was always the preacher, and I led music.

Chuck, who had been licensed a couple of weeks before we started, had one sermon, and I heard it five times. The sermon was about God’s glory, and about how one day “every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Chuck was a big farm boy from Dawsonville, Georgia, who was normally reserved, keeping his emotions to himself. Still, every week, one line from his own sermon would bring him to tears. Forty years later, I can still see him on that platform, tears streaming down his face, as he said,

And on that day when every knee bows, I believe that even those who spent their lives hating Jesus, and rejecting Jesus, and spitting in the face of Jesus will look at Him and bow before Him. And even as they are being led to hell, they’re gonna look over their shoulders and in that moment they will worship Him. And in that moment, they will look at my Jesus and agree with Him that He is justified in sending them to hell.

This is the vision God gives to Isaiah. The Lord has extended the invitation to all the ends of the earth, “Come and be saved” (Is 45:22). Many will respond to that gracious invitation, and “will be justified and find glory in the Lord” (45:25). Others will come and be put to shame, those who had been enraged against him (45:24).

One way or another, every knee will bow. What Paul said in Philippians was first said in Isaiah: “Every knee will bow, and every tongue will swear allegiance” (44:23).

There will be two responses on the day of judgment: those who say, “I am justified to enter Your presence;” and those who say “You are justified to cast me out of Your presence.”

Which will you be?





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