April 2, Friday Devotion
1 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and born into the family of Judah. Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the Lord and call on the God of Israel. You don’t keep your promises, 2 even though you call yourself the holy city and talk about depending on the God of Israel, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 3 Long ago I told you what was going to happen. Then suddenly I took action, and all my predictions came true. 4 For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze. 5 That is why I told you what would happen; I told you beforehand what I was going to do. Then you could never say, ‘My idols did it. My wooden image and metal god commanded it to happen!’ 6 You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled, but you refuse to admit it. Now I will tell you new things, secrets you have not yet heard. 7 They are brand new, not things from the past. So you cannot say, ‘We knew that all the time!’
8 “Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new, things you never heard of before. For I know so well what traitors you are. You have been rebels from birth. 9 Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out. 10 I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. 11 I will rescue you for my sake—yes, for my own sake! I will not let my reputation be tarnished, and I will not share my glory with idols!
Past few days have led us to believe that the Babylonians are the only ones under God's ire. But God shifts to the Israelites today. God rescues the Israelites not for their sakes but for his. If we read this in light of today when we are mourning the crucifixion of Jesus, we could possibly say that Jesus did not die on the cross for your sake, but for God's sake. God is not finished working in the world - not in Isaiah's day, not in Jesus' day, and not today. How do you see God working in your life and those around you?
Lord, we mourn Jesus' death today. We also mourn that we killed him and save for your grace that we could have tarnished your name. May we live forgiven. Amen.