Isaiah 30-31, Acts 24
18Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him. -ellie
The way of salvation is in returning and rest. Quietness and trust. The Lord requires no gifts of treasures like Judah is carting off to Egypt in exchange for their help. We need simply rest and trust in the Lord with a humble and meek Spirit, recognizing His almighty ability and compassionate willingness to save.
What I got out of the readings:
Judah didn’t look to God for help, they did their own thing in trying to make a treaty with Egypt. God wants us to seek Him first instead of trying to solve our problems on our own, because what we think of as being best may be completely opposite in God’s eyes. We should be asking God to reveal His way, and trust that way is what is ultimately best for us.
Isaiah is so tough for me to read, friends. I know the Bible is not all comfort and joy, but the the description of all the destruction of people is severely breaking my heart. I’m not understanding why it has to be so.
I don’t think my comment from earlier this week posted but I’ve been using a podcast called the Bible Recap by D-Group which has helped me a lot with some of the harder readings, especially Isaiah. The podcasts are brief (5-10 minutes) and Tara Lee Cobble (the author/speaker/podcaster) gives some really helpful context info as well as explanations and applications!
Something I’ve been doing is marking out the portions where God promises deliverance if they will turn to him, or a remnant that He will save regardless of their faithlessness. You’ll visually see then that it is nearly half the passages! Even though Judah continues to rebel and is unworthy of such mercy (just as we are) God intervenes in compassion and hope.
Sharon makes a wonderful point–all through these Old Testament books we’ve been reading, we see time after time after time that the Lord offers mercy, undeserved forgiveness, and faithful love to his people, but time after time they turn to other nations, idols, or their own plans to save themselves. I think the destruction of people is God’s reminder that there is a judgment coming–his mercy will one day no longer be offered to those who rejected it time after time. We are God’s creation, and he is free to do with us as he chooses. He is holy and cannot tolerate sin, but he is withholding final judgment so that more people can be saved. But do not forget that the end will one day come, and those who have thumbed their nose at his mercy will one day pay the price.
I’m answering this way behind, but I hope this may still be useful. As sinful creatures, we cannot exist before a holy and perfect God. That’s why Jesus had to die for us. If God did not punish sin with destruction, it would cheapen the grace of God’s gift in Jesus. He would have sent Jesus for no reason.
However, with that being said, I think it is right for your heart to break over those who experience this suffering and condemnation. That sorrow for the judgment of the lost should then turn us all to prayer. Let us pray for our neighbors, coworkers, and family members who do not know Christ. Let us pray that their sufferings on the Earth soften their hearts and open their eyes to Jesus’s perfect love before the day of final judgment arrives.
5 For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
Lord that I may be a real pest proclaiming the glory of God!
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