Shut Thy Door
It has been said, when God closes one door, he opens another. Yes, the Lord certainly does that as his perfect will is done, but how about when God closes the doors of normalcy, and asks us to close our door as well. It certainly is a Scriptural endeavor to do exactly that: to close your door. It was Isaiah who admonished Israel by saying, “Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee, hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation (fury) be over past” (26:20). Interesting words indeed, and according to some theologians PROPHETIC and applicable to end times, our time. The 18th Century, English baptist pastor and biblical scholar John Gill writes, “These words are to let the people of God know that there will be times of great trouble and distress previous to that GLORIOUS ONE (his second coming) in the latter day.” He goes on to say that the period of time so prophesied by Isaiah should include precautionary measures taken by believers, namely “closing the door of his habitation, and concern himself with shelter and security” (Exposition of the Bible). We understand that those troubling times are to be significant to the seven year tribulation period; however, we must ask ourselves, “As doors of isolation are being closed during this time of trouble, could it be that the Lord is already knocking on those doors?” What we do know is that Jesus will come, and he commands us to be prepared. “Behold, I come quickly, hold fast which thou hast” (Revelation 3:11). Question: “Is the indignation, the fury of God’s wrath being poured out NOW on our present wicked, evil, and God forsaken world?” Let us look to Scripture: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1); we are here, in perilous times. So the question remains: “Is God sending his indignation upon our present world, now characterized by “perilous times” including judgments wrought by our righteous God?” Here’s a corresponding, righteous response: “The Lord has every judgmental right to do so upon a world that is killing the unborn, advocating sexual identity, prescribing hormone therapy, endorsing same sex marriages, immorality, living together without God’s ordained covenant of marriage, rejecting the saving gospel of repentance with belief unto life, faithless to the house of God, and the list is endless as a provocation to the holiness of God.”
So, “shut thy doors about thee and hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be over past.” The indignation spoken of is God’s fury upon a “wicked world and that not upon his own people” (Gill), as that judgment has its affect on the people of God, The prophetic exhortation is for God’s people to get alone with God, by finding a closed, devotional door. We live in a time when we need to shut the evil world out of our spiritual world, and open that door of our prayer closet where ever that may be. Jesus said, “When thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door pray to the Father in secret” (Matthew 6:6). Take that moment in this time when we may wonder: “what in the world is going on, anyway?” Here is some consolation to God’s people from the Word. Isaiah tells us that the fury would not rage on forever; it’s for a “little moment.” More consolation: in the context of Isaiah 26, the Lord tells us “thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (v. 3). Also, as the indignation would cease in Isaiah’s day, so the prophet speaks of our day as God calls his people to the same sense of calm. Oswald Chambers tells us, “We must pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulty.” What God is allowing, or for that matter issuing out in his just measure on the world must be understood as his great purpose for the advancement of his kingdom. As Jesus taught his disciples to pray, may our prayer at this time be: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We should never be caught off guard in confusion, we won’t be found so, or in disillusion when knowing that the Lord still governs the affairs of mankind in the world that he created. God does what he does because he is God, and God does according to his plan and grand design. Remember, he created the world, and WILL control the world, as being SOVEREIGN. He knows all, all things, and all events; yes, he knows the end from the beginning. The LORD God Almighty knows how to govern with his wisdom, power and majesty. He knows exactly how for he is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent in this present world. “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6). So here is encouragement from the Word: “But the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stabllish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever, Amen” (I Peter 5:10-11).
So, “shut thy door about thee and hide thyself as it were for a little moment” and in that moment “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Yes, hell is eternal, and heaven is real. Never should a truly born again believer allow the evil one to bring doubt concerning his or her salvation, but “shut the door” and be Scriptural concerning it. The gospel of Christ is clear in his presentation, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Jesus never preached for people to ask him into their hearts, or recite a certain prayer. All is good and fine when lined up with the Word that says “repent … THAT ye may believe him” (Matthew 21:32). The word “that” is so important; so with no repentance, then no belief, and no salvation - period. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves, know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (2 Corinthians 13:5). You see God’s Word HAS, IS, and WILL BE the final answer. Francis Grimke writes “an eye opener of a message” given to believers during the Spanish flu of 1918, “It is a good time for those of us who are Christians to examine ourselves to see exactly whether the foundation upon we are building is a rock foundation, whether our faith is resting on Christ or not. I feel that one important function of this epidemic will be lost if it fails to have an effect on us, if it does not lead us to careful heart searching on our part.” “So what saith the Scripture” (Romans 4:3)? “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). Jesus said, “Ye must be born again …of the Spirit” (John 3:6-7), meaning born again “from above” - with the Spirit of life from God. You see, spiritual people do spiritual things and the unsaved or carnal people do things that are not of God: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance … and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections, and lust. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-24). So, shut the door, and open the book and see for yourself. When you read the Word, IT reads you, and the Spirit will bear witness whether you are a true believer or not. To the truly saved of God, his Word is plain, that “ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba (Daddy) Father” (Galatians 4:6).
So, “shut thy door.” We must remember that the Lord omnipotent reigneth, not the evil one, not man, not government, not the economy, not good luck, not bad luck, not random situations, not chance, not situations, not our subjective view of God and our personally prescribed Christianity (at times so foreign to Scripture), not our jobs, not our bank account, not our degrees, not our prestige, not our social standing, not our group of friends, not our looks, not the stock market, not our church building, not blind fate, not man & God, but only God, and God alone.
So, “shut thy door about thee, and hide thyself” in HIM. “You will generally notice that when a believer gets near to God, and tastes the unseen joys and eats the bread that is made in heaven, all the feasts of earth (the world’s pursuits at their table) seem very flat (tasteless) and unprofitable” (Charles H. Spurgeon). So dear Christian, you have God’s infallible wisdom to guide you, his comforting love to assure you, all of his abiding presence to sustain you, and his inerrant word to remind you that it’s all about a “little moment.”
So, “shut thy door” and make that moment count with HIM. Some closing thoughts: so look up and cheer up dear believer waiting on him; things are not left to choice, but only to the foreordained purposes, counsels, and plans of God, so designed by him. It’s been said, “faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.” Yes, the prophet Isaiah has challenged us to “shut thy doors” and seek him. He also leaves us with this prayer: “O LORD, be gracious unto us, we have waited for thee, be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in time of trouble” (33:2). SO SHUT THY DOOR!