There’s an amazing invitation in Isaiah 43, beginning in verse 26.
“Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case,
that you may be acquitted.”
Is God really inviting us to come into His presence and debate our own righteousness? Selah ….ie time out!!
Before rushing into what appears to be a heavenly court
room, shouldn’t we consider scriptures such as…
Psalms 144:3 “Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
Job 40:2 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?
He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”
Surely such scriptures cause us to be a bit apprehensive or hesitant in our
response to this divine invitation.
Then the question comes: are we to remind God of our own merits and good deeds;
or, only remind Him of His Word and the promises they contain?
With the decision to do both, we step forward, ready to contend with God.
Contend actually means to “debate, grabble, or engage as in a contest or fencing”.
The understanding here is that now, like Jacob, we get to wrestle with God!
State your case! Knowing the purpose of trial is judgment, we should hold nothing
back. Even so, all our self-vindication seems rather insufficient. So, turning aside from ourselves, now we plead our own defense based on His word, and boldly declare His promises before Him.
That you may be acquitted. Acquitted is a great word- it means “blameless, not guilty,
innocent”. Believing in His great grace, go for the grand finale. Remind God of His
mercy and the forgiveness He made available to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The truth is the purpose of God’s divine wrestling invitation is not to condemn
or shame us. It is to strengthen and build us up. Jacob contended with God
until He received a blessing, and was transformed. He had a new name; a new identity.
We have the same opportunity.
Contending as one before Your holy throne, reminding You of great things You’ve done. Believing Your promises with unshakeable faith, do them again, Lord, for Your name sake.
We state our cause, based on Your word, reminding You of what we’ve heard. We stand together as one, believing what You said is done! Your Word is true; You cannot lie; It’s up to us to live or die.
Remember Lord Your mercy and grace, as we stand before You, beholding Your face. We’ll wrestle like Jacob and contend as one man, until, by the power of Your hand we enter the promised land!