1 “Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined. 2 Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor, and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation. Abraham was only one man when I called him. But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.” 3 The Lord will comfort Israel again and have pity on her ruins. Her desert will blossom like Eden, her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found there. Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air. 4 “Listen to me, my people. Hear me, Israel, for my law will be proclaimed, and my justice will become a light to the nations. 5 My mercy and justice are coming soon. My salvation is on the way. My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm. 6 Look up to the skies above, and gaze down on the earth below. For the skies will disappear like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing. The people of the earth will die like flies, but my salvation lasts forever. My righteous rule will never end! 7 “Listen to me, you who know right from wrong you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults. 8 For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing. The worm will eat at them as it eats wool. But my righteousness will last forever. My salvation will continue from generation to generation.”
9 Wake up, wake up, O Lord! Clothe yourself with strength! Flex your mighty right arm! Rouse yourself as in the days of old when you slew Egypt, the dragon of the Nile. 10 Are you not the same today, the one who dried up the sea, making a path of escape through the depths so that your people could cross over? 11 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
12 “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? 13 Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator, the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors? Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies? Where is their fury and anger now? It is gone! 14 Soon all you captives will be released! Imprisonment, starvation, and death will not be your fate! 15 For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar. My name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 16 And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out[d] the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, ‘You are my people!’” 17 Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem! You have drunk the cup of the Lord’s fury. You have drunk the cup of terror, tipping out its last drops. 18 Not one of your children is left alive to take your hand and guide you. 19 These two calamities have fallen on you: desolation and destruction, famine and war. And who is left to sympathize with you? Who is left to comfort you? 20 For your children have fainted and lie in the streets, helpless as antelopes caught in a net. The Lord has poured out his fury; God has rebuked them. 21 But now listen to this, you afflicted ones who sit in a drunken stupor, though not from drinking wine. 22 This is what the Sovereign Lord, your God and Defender, says: “See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands. You will drink no more of my fury. 23 Instead, I will hand that cup to your tormentors, those who said, ‘We will trample you into the dust and walk on your backs.’”
Just the other day, I was to conduct a meeting and I realized that I left my notes at home that had my hints of how to do it well. I made it through, but I can only imagine how much smoother it would have went if I had them. In a similar way, we may be able to get through life okay, but it may go smoother if we trust God instead of try to do God's part. This passage reminds us to remember and trust. What do you think?
Quick PrayerLord, how easy I forget that not only have you been with me through the thick and thin, but also with my family history. You have always been there. May my life be a living memory of that. Amen.