Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 33

The Fall of Babylon

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 46:1-13, Isaiah 47:1-15, Psalm 71:17-19, Proverbs 19:21

Text: Isaiah 46:1-13, Isaiah 47:1-15, Psalm 71:17-19, Proverbs 19:21

I forgot a friend’s name the other day. She’s a real, live, good friend of mine. We’ve laughed together. We’ve cried together. We’ve lived near one another and far apart—and the other day I forgot her name. I was talking to someone about a conversation I’d had with my dear friend, and my mind just blanked. I felt like I was groping in the fog for something I knew the shape and form and content of intimately, but could not bring it to mind.  

Have you ever felt like this with God? I have. I know His attributes, know His many names, know His Word, and yet I forget. I grope in the fog for some semblance of the God He seemed to be at other times in my life. But because I’ve missed His presence or it’s been a while since we’ve talked, I tend to forget Him and His character.

Isaiah 46 was given to a forgetting people from an unforgetting God. It was given to a people who had tried to be righteous and found themselves lacking. It was given to a people who had chosen their own opinions, their own gods, and their own ways over the God who had chosen them before the creation of the world. The people who were loved by God had forgotten Him, His ways, and His promises.

There have been so many times in my life when what I know of God—what I know to be true of Him—clashes with the murkiness of what my day-to-day life looks like. Many days my life seems to be at odds with the God I know, and I find myself doubting Him. I forget He’s good, and that my version of good cannot compare with His perfect knowledge of what truly is. I forget He is faithful, and that my version of faithfulness looks more like getting my own way instead of living according to His. I worship at the altar of today’s circumstances, thinking they’re the most important and most pressing of all.

Isaiah 46 reminds me that God is on His throne and was seated there even as these words were uttered by Isaiah, even in the midst of such a long wait, and even as I read them today. God is unchanging. His character is inscrutable. His faithfulness and goodness are everlasting. Even when I forget, He remains.

If you’re prone to forgetting—whether names of friends or your car keys or the one thing you forgot to put on your grocery list—like I am, let this be a reminder to you: God, in His perfection, has not forgotten you, and He has not forgotten the promises He’s made to His people. It’s human nature to forget, but He’s given us His Word to remind us again and again of who He is and what He’s promised, of what He’s done and will do, and of how He loves His children.

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Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

  • Michelle C.

    Needed this devotional today. God is so good, and has been reminding me of that this morning. He never stops being good. Love you lovely ladies, you’re awesome and beloved ❤

  • “I worship at the altar of today’s circumstances, thinking they’re the most important and most pressing of all.” That is me every day! And then I look back and realize what a big deal I made out of little things. I’m so thankful for a God who never forgets and never loses perspective. Thank you to Lore for a needed reminder.

  • amyloukuo

    Love today’s study! It is so true, I so often forget God, or limit Him to my little “box” of smallness, rather than remembering Him for Who He is. I fit Him into my life, rather than asking Him how I may fit into His plan. Thank you for making today’s Scriptures alive for all of us!

  • Diane Huntsman

    This was one of my favorites!! Thank you dear writer, you brought home so marvelous simple truths! Thanks God for Your words that give life every.single.day.
    19 Your righteousness, O God,
    reaches the high heavens.
    You who have done great things,
    O God, who is like you? All the praise hands here!

  • I love these verses. God continually calls us back to him even when we are unfaithful and chasing our own idols. It makes me step back and wonder what I am placing in ahead of Him. I struggle with being self-sufficient, not needing God unless “I can’t fix it on my own.” Pride has to be removed.

  • “I forget He is faithful, and that my version of faithfulness looks more like getting my own way instead of living according to His. I worship at the altar of today’s circumstances, thinking they’re the most important and most pressing of all.”

    I have been praying for certain things to come to pass, and many of my prayers have been “God, prove yourself faithful… make this thing happen.” And this quote this morning showed me I was just praying to get my way when I want it, instead of choosing to see how is faithful RIGHT NOW. I think if those promises aren’t happening now, He isn’t faithful now. Oh, my heart. I am so sorry Lord for not seeing your works right in front of me.

    • Emily

      Those lines from the devotion really resonated with me, too. I’ve been praying “Give me faith” a lot lately, and this devotion met me there. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • He is faithful. Even when I cannot see him at work he is there. Even when I am desperate to see him change hearts and the wait is long; he is already there, moving in ways I cannot see. My soul aches in waiting, but he is faithful.

  • I hear what you’re saying Churchmouse. My prayer as a mother I’m hoping my children are able to attend Christian colleges so that this doesn’t happen. It’s not a guarantee however they will be surrounded by other Christians and teachers that will point them to Jesus and keep them accountable.

  • Keri McCue

    “I forget He’s good, and that my version of good cannot compare with His perfect knowledge of what truly is. I forget He is faithful, and that my version of faithfulness looks more like getting my own way instead of living according to His.” So totally needed this today. I’m loving this session’s study! I’m learning so much and God is pointing out things in me that need to be realigned to Him. <3

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Churchmouse

    These words struck me this morning: “You were secure in your wickedness; you said ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray.”. These echo my thoughts last evening when I overheard some college students talking about their “progressive” ideology. These were students I knew, had seen at church. Their words revealed they were now scoffers of the faith, puffed up with how enlightened they have become. Oh I really am not being critical because my heart broke to hear their conversation and I’m prayerful for them this morning. From Isaiah to 2017, there is nothing new under the sun. I am sad.

    • DHo

      I agree with you. We just spoke a bit about this same “post-truth” era as it’s now being called where really people are feeling “enlightened” yet severely scoffing at and sacrificing the truth of God’s word.

      It is a sad time. A time we should mourn like the prophets did. A time we must pray. Pray for the hearts and minds of humanity that they/we will not be lead astray by the spirit of the times but be rooted and anchored in the truth that is from everlasting to everlasting.

    • Andreahope

      I think many go through a time in their lives hen they openly question God. I went through this myself in college. I returned to faith and I know many who also did. I think God is ok with our questions and He can bring greater faith through seasons of doubt.

      • Elle

        So much this! Even the Bible people wrestle with faith and the nature of God. I think a healthy faith is one that can withstand questions and that matures as we grow.

    • Mary

      I am equally sad! I do know that it is common for people to leave home and then to challenge everything they have ever been taught. I did the same! But now I am watching a close family member choose to live this way – 10 years after leaving home, her lifestyle and friend choices are catching up to her. She is beginning to choose the “enlightenment” thinking to justify her choices. I am praying for her daily to return to the Lord. This study has emboldened me to speak the truth about the Lord and who He is, in love, with surety.

  • Thank you for this ministry! What a beautiful passage and reflection!

  • Such a beautiful reminder of how amazing and everlasting God is, even in the midst of forgetfulness on our part. I’ve had moments where I forget what power God holds in His hands and over my life. But not even short after, does He remind me of that same power. I am an engraved piece that can never be forgotten by Him. So are you. We may have our moments where we turn away and remember Earthly powers but God makes it a show to help us keep in mind who is the King and Creator.

  • Isaiah 46:12 – Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who re now far from my righteousness.

    Boy am I glad God does not simply write off the stubborn-hearted…the forgetful…the wanderer. These words weren’t for the “perfect” Jew (because let’s be real…that person didn’t really exist). Instead, God came through Isaiah to remind the imperfect people that He was still the same, and that He still loved them deeply regardless of their stubbornness. If God were a person, I think after generations of people turning from him, he would have walked away. Yet, God is not like us. He is God. He is eternal. He remembers us even when we are so ugly and turned around. He still speaks to us! To me….because more often than I’d like to admit, I am the stubborn one who has wandered far from His righteousness. Yet, God remains faithful. He pursues me still. He draws me back to Himself and starts chipping away at the hardness inside of me. Thank you Lord!

  • It´s been said many times that these chapters are tough to read, and come out with a clear understanding. In case you want to take a minute, The Bible Project made some amazing videos explaining the sequence and scope of Isaiah (and post-Isaiah in ch. 40-66!) that are free on youtube or in RightNowMedia in case you have an account there. Check them out. Here´s part 1: (Ch. 1-39) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0A6Uchb1F8&list=PLzqvZvU_c95EXuOia1644oaxMzQof7UYN&index=39

    • Ann

      I’m a big fan of the Bible Project videos too! They are so helpful in providing an overview of each book and its major themes. The two videos on Isaiah are especially helpful given the challenging nature of the book.

    • Sarah

      Thanks for this!!! I had been wishing for a summary because I felt a little lost after the first half of Isaiah! This helped a lot!

    • DHo

      What a great resource! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Leah Payne

      The videos are super helpful. Thank you for the link!

    • Bonnie

      Thanks so much! I didn’t know these existed!

    • Melani Fryer

      Very cool

  • Glad that he is strong and unwavering in a world of temporary. His power is the only permanent – and His love. What a relief He has planned it and will do it.

  • Such a blessing to reflect on this today as I wait for God to fulfill his promises to me. When we are faithless, he remains forever faithful.

  • These two verses jumped out at me the most today:
    Isaiah 46:4
    “even to your old age I am He,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
    I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.”
    (my heart melts a little at the thought of having gray hair and being carried…especially by Him).

    And
    Psalm 19:21
    “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
    I needed this verse today. I’ve been struggling with “what’s next in my life, Lord?…I want to do Your will….what if I choose the wrong thing or don’t choose the best thing…” This verse is a reminder that even though I can think of a million things I could do and want to do, ultimately His purpose will stand, and that’s exactly what I want. He’s big enough to lead me back on track if need be.

    • Karen

      I needed to read your thoughts on Psalm 19:21 this am. I struggle so often with what’s next? Am I doing what He wants me to be doing? I forget, in all my stewing and worrying, that He is big enough to lead me back on track, if only I spend time with Him in His word and am obedient.

    • Jess

      I loved the visual of Isaiah 46:4 as well! Such a beautiful picture of the Lord’s steadfast faithfulness.

    • GEMA Muniz

      Amen! At times I feel like we worry out of habit. Ultimately when we leave it in Gods hands, seek him, and ask for his will to be done he works all things out for our good. God bless you sister.

    • Joan

      Dear Ashlee, I am that one now with grey hair…your post touched my heart this morning…
      And all the years I have walked and talked with Him, …yes, He holds our hand…gets us back on the path…gently, lovingly, patiently…through valleys, bumpy roads, turbulent waters…He is our Faithful Father…never judging but unconditionally picking us up & dusting us off and encouraging us to walk on..walk on…with HOPE in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!

    • Rhonda

      Thank you! Yes…he’s big enough to bring me back on track! Amen!

    • amyloukuo

      Yes Ashlee, thank you! I’m beginning a new job, a vast change from my last career steps, and have been wondering how this fits into God’s plans for me. I needed this reminder to simply trust and walk with Him and allow His plans to be made known!

  • So many words here felt like they were taken right out of my mouth. Wow! So. Much. Goodness here. Thank you!

    • Naomi

      Same goes for me…right down to forgetting a friend’s name! Thank you Lore!

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