There was a group of people who were God’s chosen ones, whom He had rescued from slavery, baptized, and fed spiritual food and drink. Yet with most of them He was NOT well pleased. This was because they: craved evil things; allowed food, drink, and play to become idols to them; didn’t take sexual sin seriously; tested the Lord with their impatience; and grumbled against Him. Their story is recorded for us to learn from their bad example. Let us take heed lest the same becomes true of us, but live with the confidence that God gives us a way of escape through every temptation. (I Corinthians 9:24-10:13)
Then came Jesus, opening a new and living way, and about Him, the Father said that He WAS well-pleased (Matthew 17:5). When we get revelation of Jesus, what we see is His INNER life — more than just physical or emotional manifestations — and that this is what is well-pleasing to the Father.
This life of the beloved Son is:
1. The life of peace: That means no more picking up your weapons to fight against others (Isaiah 42:1; 2:1-5).
2. The life of humble insignificance: That means not calling attention to what you do with loud speeches or gaudy parades (Isaiah 42:2); not seeking earthly esteem (Luke 16:15); not seeking earthly signs or wisdom (I Corinthians 1:21-31).
3. The life of encouraging others: That means not brushing aside the bruised and the hurt, and not disregarding the small and insignificant, but encouraging the fainthearted and those tempted to despair (Isaiah 42:3a).
4. The life of faithfulness: That means living out righteousness steadily and firmly day by day (Isaiah 42:3b).
5. The life of endurance: That means not tiring out or quitting, not stopping until you’ve finished your work (Isaiah 42:4). If you have faith like Jesus, you too will be able to endure unto the end (Hebrews 10:35-11:2; 12:1-3).