January 29, Friday Devotion
1 In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. 2 Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. 3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! 4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. 5 He humbles the proud and brings down the arrogant city. He brings it down to the dust. 6 The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot, and the needy walk all over it.
7 But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. 8 Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. 9 All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right. 10 Your kindness to the wicked does not make them do good. Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong and take no notice of the Lord’s majesty. 11 O Lord, they pay no attention to your upraised fist. Show them your eagerness to defend your people. Then they will be ashamed. Let your fire consume your enemies.
12 Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. 13 O Lord our God, others have ruled us, but you alone are the one we worship. 14 Those we served before are dead and gone. Their departed spirits will never return! You attacked them and destroyed them, and they are long forgotten. 15 O Lord, you have made our nation great; yes, you have made us great. You have extended our borders, and we give you the glory!
16 Lord, in distress we searched for you. We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline. 17 Just as a pregnant woman writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth, so were we in your presence, Lord. 18 We, too, writhe in agony, but nothing comes of our suffering. We have not given salvation to the earth, nor brought life into the world. 19 But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead! Restoration for Israel 20 Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the Lord’s anger has passed. 21 Look! The Lord is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed. They will be brought out for all to see.
Where do you want your life to be in 15 years? What things would you like to have accomplished? In verse 18, it says, "We have not given salvation to the earth, nor brought life into the world." Of what you are hoping to do over the next 15 years, how many of those things will bring life into the world? How does giving the earth salvation fit into your plans?
O God, let our salvation bring salvation in others and creation. Amen.