Monday, April 19, 2010

April 20, Tuesday Devotion

April 20, Tuesday Devotion
Isaiah 56:9-57:13
    9 Come, wild animals of the field! Come, wild animals of the forest! Come and devour my people! 10 For the leaders of my people—the Lord’s watchmen, his shepherds—are blind and ignorant They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming. 11 Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied. They are ignorant shepherds, all following their own path and intent on personal gain. 12 “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party. Let’s all get drunk. Then tomorrow we’ll do it again and have an even bigger party!” 57:1 Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. 2 For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.
    3 “But you—come here, you witches’ children, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes! 4 Whom do you mock, making faces and sticking out your tongues? You children of sinners and liars! 5 You worship your idols with great passion beneath the oaks and under every green tree. You sacrifice your children down in the valleys, among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. 6 Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys. You worship them with liquid offerings and grain offerings. They, not I, are your inheritance. Do you think all this makes me happy? 7 You have committed adultery on every high mountain. There you have worshiped idols and have been unfaithful to me. 8 You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them. You love to look at their naked bodies. 9 You have given olive oil to Molech with many gifts of perfume. You have traveled far, even into the world of the dead, to find new gods to love. 10 You grew weary in your search, but you never gave up. Desire gave you renewed strength, and you did not grow weary. 11 “Are you afraid of these idols? Do they terrify you? Is that why you have lied to me and forgotten me and my words? Is it because of my long silence that you no longer fear me? 12 Now I will expose your so-called good deeds. None of them will help you. 13 Let’s see if your idols can save you when you cry to them for help. Why, a puff of wind can knock them down! If you just breathe on them, they fall over! But whoever trusts in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.” 
Quick Notes/Questions
Isaiah strikes a weird balance in these few chapters.  At times we see God display contempt to his people and chooses not to be with them.  Immediately after, we see God's love and blessing extend to the least of us.  Today though, we come upon a passage like this.  Tomorrow, the passage becomes about God's forgiveness.  How do we reconcile all of these wide ranging expressions in so few chapters?  Would it help if we we allowed ourselves to see God as if he truly was human?  Many of these expressions, emotions, and feelings are typical of people like you and me over the period of maybe a few days... or even a few hours!  Even when we feel that God may hate us, God fully shows all of who he is when he appears as Christ Jesus... the guy who died for loving those who were considered unlovable.  How does hearing that make you feel?
Quick Prayer
Christ Jesus, thank you for your love and grace.  There are many times that I have crossed the boundaries and ask that I can learn to live in your forgiveness.  Amen.

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