Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mt 11:28

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Aug 6, Isa 42-44

Today's readings are Isa 42-44.

There is good news and bad news in these chapters. The bad news is that Israel and Judah will pay for their sin and rebellion, pay dearly. There will be war and suffering. But, in time, the good news will prevail. God will deliver them and bring them back home. Not only will He deliver them, but He will punish those who oppose them.

By now, we're beginning to see that God always delivers His people when they turn back toward Him and repent with contrite hearts. No matter how many times they fall away, He shows them grace when they cry out to Him with hearts that long to be closer to Him. By the end of Isa 43, we see that God does this, not for their sake, but for His. They are clearly unworthy of such grace. God's intention is to reveal, through the work He does in His people, His glory.

Isa 44 reinforces the idea that Israel is the servant and God is the King. Is 44:7 tells them to fear not, a wise bit of guidance given their precarious position. The destiny of those who worship idols (those who have subjugated God’s people) is secure. They will pay for their rejection of God and the oppression of His people. Even as God punishes those who reject Him and His people, He will redeem those who belong to Him.

We should see ourselves in the stories of Israel and Judah. Like them, we are utterly incapable of saving ourselves. Like Abraham, we were wandering through life when God chose us to demonstrate to the world that He can transform and redeem anyone He chooses regardless of their circumstances. Furthermore, just like Abraham, once chosen, we continued to stumble, incapable of sustaining our eternal status or completing our walk on our own. Abraham, the two kingdoms...and each of us...are entirely dependent upon the grace of God and His faithfulness if we are to have any hope.

Praise God, He is faithful, powerful and true. Praise God, He was patient with Israel. In Israel’s story, we can see the promise of God’s patience with us. 

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