January 26, Tuesday Devotion
1 Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. He devastates the surface of the earth and scatters the people. 2 Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors—none will be spared. 3 The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The Lord has spoken!
4 The earth mourns and dries up, and the crops waste away and wither. Even the greatest people on earth waste away. 5 The earth suffers for the sins of its people,
for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin. They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive. 7 The grapevines waste away, and there is no new wine. All the merrymakers sigh and mourn. 8 The cheerful sound of tambourines is stilled; the happy cries of celebration are heard no more. The melodious chords of the harp are silent. 9 Gone are the joys of wine and song; alcoholic drink turns bitter in the mouth. 10 The city writhes in chaos; every home is locked to keep out intruders. 11 Mobs gather in the streets, crying out for wine. Joy has turned to gloom. Gladness has been banished from the land. 12 The city is left in ruins, its gates battered down. 13 Throughout the earth the story is the same—only a remnant is left, like the stray olives left on the tree or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest.
14 But all who are left shout and sing for joy. Those in the west praise the Lord’s majesty. 15 In eastern lands, give glory to the Lord. In the lands beyond the sea, praise the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 16 We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth, songs that give glory to the Righteous One! But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere. 17 Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, you people of the earth. 18 Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare. Destruction falls like rain from the heavens; the foundations of the earth shake. 19 The earth has broken up. It has utterly collapsed; it is violently shaken. 20 The earth staggers like a drunk. It trembles like a tent in a storm. It falls and will not rise again, for the guilt of its rebellion is very heavy.
21 In that day the Lord will punish the gods in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth. 22 They will be rounded up and put in prison. They will be shut up in prison
and will finally be punished. 23 Then the glory of the moon will wane, and the brightness of the sun will fade, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion. He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people.
Consequences of actions taken by even a few affect a vast many. The innocent and the guilty alike will receive the spoils or disaster. As we look back over what has happened in Haiti over the past few weeks, both good people and not-so-good people were equally devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks. It greatly affected the American culture as well, as everywhere you looked there were people and businesses showing how you and I could help out. Heck, even Saturday Night Live offered a way to help. How were you affected by the events in Haiti? How did your actions affect those in the world?
O God Almighty, there are so many needs in the world and I feel overwhelmed even looking at them. Give me a peace that I may be able to bring your kingdom here on earth even in small ways. Amen.