Destruction and Devastation

Open Your Bible

Isaiah 15:1-9, Isaiah 16:1-14, Isaiah 17:1-14, Psalm 68:19, Luke 21:25-28

Text: Isaiah 15:1-9, Isaiah 16:1-14,  Isaiah 17:1-14, Psalm 68:19, Luke 21:25-28

Early on in the arduous adoption journey of my daughter Missy (who’s HIV-positive) from Haiti, I met with another adoptive mom who’d already brought her HIV-positive child home from a different Third World country. While swapping “war stories” of adoption heartbreak over coffee, she told me she sometimes finds herself wishing she had HIV, too. I assumed she meant she’d be more than willing to suffer with the virus if that meant her baby wouldn’t have to—kind of a quid pro quo penitential parenting kind of thing. Or maybe she was just being overly emotional and hyperbolic, as mamas often are when it comes to our children.

Several years later, I stood sobbing in the customs line at Miami International Airport, overwhelmed by the glorious reality that Missy was finally (officially!) my daughter. It had been two long, roller-coaster years of slogging through seemingly endless paperwork in the maddeningly slow Haitian welfare system. For twenty-four months, I’d worried about her physical and emotional health from two thousand miles away.

Just a few days after bringing her home, we found ourselves at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. I held Missy in my arms as she screamed in terror, contorting her tiny body throughout the first of what will likely be a lifetime of blood draws. That’s when I really understood what my friend meant.

I sat on the edge of the pleather chair in the phlebotomist’s office, rocking my precious, panicky daughter, whispering in her ear, “It’s going to be okay, baby. This is going to sting for a second, but it’ll be over quickly. I’m so sorry, honey. Mwen se konsa regrèt.” But I wasn’t able to quiet her terrified shrieks or calm her violent twisting because she’d been traumatized by some barbaric medical procedures as a toddler being treated in Port Au Prince. And though she called me her Mama Blan (white mama), she didn’t completely trust me yet.

That’s when I thought, Now, I get it. Now I understand what my friend meant when she said she wished she had HIV like her child. Because in these moments I’d do just about anything to be able to connect with Missy on every level, to comfort her from a place of true empathy.

I’d gladly suffer anything to ensure my little girl would never feel alone, no matter what the situation.

Missy may have been conceived in my heart instead of my womb, but let me tell you something: Every. Single. Thing. that concerns her concerns me. I am wildly passionate about her welfare. And God the Father is infinitely more concerned about His children—even the rebellious ones who rebuff His mercy like the Moabites did. Because while the chapters we’ve been reading in Isaiah clearly depict God’s coming judgment of the wicked, they also clearly depict His mourning over their unrepentant future:

My heart cries out over Moab.
– Isaiah 15:5

In his profound commentary on Isaiah, Alec Motyer writes that God “weeps as he smites.” Our Creator Redeemer is not one of those dads who disciplines first and thinks later. He is a perfect parent, and His harshest correction and discipline are always, always braided with compassion.

This makes me feel especially safe and secure as His child, but it also challenges me to sow increasingly more love and kindness into the biblical truisms I seek to show and tell. By the grace of God, may we all be the type of people who weep rather than celebrate when our Heavenly Father disciplines another image-bearer. May our soft sides be far more frayed with use than our hard sides. And may we not have to wait for our self-made altars to crumble before we look to our loving, compassionate, merciful Maker (Isaiah 17:7).


Lisa Harper is a master storyteller with a masters of Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary. She’s lauded as an engaging, hilarious communicator as well as an authentic and substantive Bible teacher. She’s been in vocational ministry for 30 years and has written 15 books and Bible study curriculums but says her greatest accomplishment by far is that of becoming Missy’s (her adopted daughter from Haiti) mama! They live on a hilly farmette south of Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy eating copious amounts of chips, queso, and guacamole.

(85) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

85 thoughts on "Destruction and Devastation"

  1. Felicity Di Mino says:

    The reflection after this reading was especially powerful. I kept feeling conflicted as I read, like, “How can this time of terrible destruction be a day of hope and salvation?” And the response about God have perfect compassion and sorrow while he judges, was so timely. He is a perfect father and a perfect judge.

  2. Danya Ho says:

    Our Creator Redeemer is not one of those dads who disciplines first and thinks later. He is a perfect parent, and His harshest correction and discipline are always, always braided with compassion.

  3. Janice says:

    Anger and Love. Wow. I think so powerful of actions of which I believe are polar opposites. But to hear that He has “braided” the two because of His prevailing love… wow.

    I try so hard to hear Him. And it’s funny to think, when I am angry at those that I love the most… I call out to Him for guidance. When pushed hard enough, my anger is fury. I grow angry at others, and maybe even everybody. And I feel this way because I’ve been hurt often by someone I love the most. Trying to reconcile my anger, so I can better convey love often feels impossible. Dear Lord, let me quiet my anger, so I may hear You, and to hear others. When I’m angry, remind me that I am angry because I love. And let love prevail.

    1. Jill Garcia says:

      Thank you for sharing this. Anger is my struggle too, and your prayer really spoke to me. Praying we can both hear the Lord, receive His love, and use that to love others instead of show anger. Hugs, my sister in Christ!

  4. Johanna Tropiano says:

    My prayer today was that God would continue to reveal to me the truths He wants me to learn over these 40 days. I was struck yet again by the words “pride” (vs. 6) and “arrogance”(vs. 7). When I think of what it means to be a true christ follower, it often comes down to pride vs. humility. God smites the proud and then lifts up the humble. I feel like my constant prayer is for God to reveal the prideful places in my heart and lay them low by whatever means necessary.

  5. Beka says:

    It always amazes me how the Lord brings me to just what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. I have been struggling with things in my life and the tendency is to isolate myself, throw a pity party, and turn to worldly things to comfort myself. But how awesome is it that we have a loving and compassionate Lord who is ready in the wings to lift me back up and comfort me.
    “And may we not have to wait for our self-made altars to crumble before we look to our loving, compassionate, merciful Maker.” This is my prayer today, that my tendency to look elsewhere would be stifled, and that each and everyday it takes me a little less time to remember that He is all I need.

    1. Sandy says:

      Thank you for sharing! I definitely respond the same way. I am going to pray the same as you. He is all we need. I hope we can lay this down at His feet and remember we don’t have to pick it back up! I struggle so much with that. Nothing of this world will comfort me like God’s loving arms will. Have a good week and thanks again for sharing your comments.

  6. I love how in the middle of chapter 15 is this line: “a throne will be established in steadfast love.” Oh how He loves.

  7. Diane Huntsman says:

    “May our soft sides be far more frayed with use than our hard sides. And may we not have to wait for our self-made altars to crumble before we look to our loving, compassionate, merciful Maker” (Isaiah 17:7). This was just beautiful and let it be so, Lord.. let it be so in me.

    1. Caitlyn says:

      Amen, Diane! I agree, so beautiful and yes, let it be so. I’m glad someone else found this just as wonderful as I did.

  8. Emma says:

    I usually always turned to things I believed made me safe such as isolating, people, medicating, hiding, sleep, not speaking, and putting up walls. All these things I thought would help keep me safe and from being hurt but in the end it still hurts me and makes me unsafe. Yes people can be a safe place but they won’t always be there but God is there 24/7 when ever we need him! God is the only person I can truly be safe with. He is like a blanket ready to shield, cover, and assure me that I am safe. Part of Isaiah 17:10 says, “You have not remembered that God is your place of safety.” We need to remind ourselves daily that God is our safe place.

    1. Rachael says:

      This was so helpful for me Emma. I struggle to be alone. But we are never alone. God is with us and he is our safety and comfort

    2. Tay says:

      Thank you Emma for this reminder.

  9. Judy says:

    IS 16. Vs 3-5. I cannot help but think of today’s world. So many refugees. What are we, the church, doing? Are we taking a stand against the injustice? Or just turning our backs. I pray for the courage to speak out, To hide the refugees (the undocumented) and not betray the one who flees.

  10. Carissa says:

    I love this. Perfect for today. God’s timing is the best! Thank you for sharing these powerful and life-giving words.

  11. Sara says:

    When life seems void of God’s direction, & a desert season has dragged on for far too long? This is all a hard thing to remember. But, He loves us anyway. He is still good, and still weeps with us, and still wants us to be with Him.

    1. SarahMay says:

      Agreed Sara. Looking back on His faithfulness to us and to Israel reminds us He is good, loving, faithful, perfect. Praying for clarity and direction and breakthrough for you.

  12. Olivia says:

    Man. This was hard to read today, and I needed it so much. I so often think of God as a nerdy seventh grader asking the prom queen out on a date, asking “Please will you do this for me? Please will you follow me? Please will you love me?” How wrong I am. I’m lower than a 7th grader here, and God would be the most the prom queen. It sounds so ridiculous, but how clearly it shows my heart. Thanks for sharing this heartbreaker today to unveil my eyes and heart!

  13. Bonnie says:

    I am convicted. I have become much too comfortable with my sins and the sins of others, lulled by my comprehension of a loving God, and forgetting that in His love, He is also Holy, just and righteous. And because he perfectly balances these traits, His perfect love will not let my sin go unaccounted for. Yes, I have complete forgiveness on the cross, but I also need complete repentance over my sin in the here and now. Lord, I pray that I would be broken over my sin as you are broken over my sin, so that I would not only confess my sin, but renounce my sin and find your mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

    1. Gina Jo says:

      I am in the same place as you are, Father God forgive me and help me break the chains and shackles I keep clinging to. Guard my lips from gossip, help me for I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
      Romans 7:19‭-‬20 NIV

    2. Diane Huntsman says:

      Amen to every word of this!!

    3. Brandi says:

      Yes! Amen!

  14. Allee says:

    I am really struggling to get something out of these Isaiah chapters. Some of my favorite verses come from this book. But I am struggling with all the history and names and not retaining much of it. I understand the big picture, but I am forcing myself not to just skip over the Isaiah chapters to get to the New Testament passages. Any advice?

    1. Alexandra Moore says:

      I am definitely in this boat as well, Allee!

    2. Karen R. says:

      I’m absolutely in the same place!! I’m wanting so much to get more out of this than I am. Praying God will help me with understanding!! Would love any advise also!

      1. Allee says:

        I will pray for the same thing.

    3. SarahMay says:

      I’ve thought about reading the devotion first to try and focus more on what the author is trying to pull out of the passage. I agree–it sometimes is hard, but if you get a ‘hint’ ahead of time as to what to look for, that might help.

      In hard passages, I also try to look for snippets of God’s character and faithfulness. I’m in Leviticus as well with the Read Thru the Bible in a Year plan, and, in all the description of the sacrifices, what has stuck out to me is God’s attention to detail. I may not understand why, but I know He doesn’t change and will also be as attentive to the seemingly unimportant details of my life.

      1. Brittany A. says:

        I agree. I’ve started reading the writer’s piece first, then reading the scripture, then going back and rereading the devotion. You’re right, it does help give a “hint” and guide when the scripture is going.

    4. Judy says:

      I gave up obsessing over the history and the names etc… too overwhelming. I just highlight the verses that jump out at me. I try to apply to my own heart, my own life. I found it was way too distracting to understand all the other drama

      1. Allee says:

        This is usually what I try to do as well.

    5. Andrea says:

      I was struggling too and then started listening on audio. I listen on in the New Living Translation. Then I read it in my bible, which is a more traditional translation. Listening to it really helps me feel more familiar with it and I hear things that I don’t always see on the paper. Reading it these two ways is helping me to feel that I am beginning to know and appreciate book of Isaiah. I too have always loved certain verses, but I’m coming to see the whole book as a story of God calling us to repentance and offering us comfort even in the destruction.

      1. Erica R. says:

        I really love this study and this fun connection, Ani!

      2. Jaida says:

        Did you mean

    6. Erica R. says:

      Allen and all… ; ). I agree, but I have found a way! I would love to be able to read Isaiah and understand it all… but I don’t! In order to truly understand, even on the first of many levels, we need and understanding of the historical context. We must be careful when doing what I am about to suggest, but choose to see it as a way to dig into scripture. “Searching for truth and wisdom as for gold and silver.” Take a given passage and Google along with the word commentary, then be careful of the site you choose; ). A bible believer can ask God for discernment from the Holy Spirit to guide them in choosing a commentary of truth! When I read commentary, it opens up the history and the story so that I can u dears tank more layers of meaning! Then I go back and read the scripture again! … kind of like “rereading” Shakespeare when you already know the story… So much easier! Blessings to you! Let us dig into God’s truth and our hearts will be blessed!

      1. Erica R. says:

        Oh my word. “U dears tank?” … I was autocorrected! The word was “understand!”

        1. Erica R. says:

          Sigh… “Allee and all”. Not Allen. Gee wiz.

          1. Allee says:

            It’s okay! I know that’s what my name autocorrects to. It’s my parents’ fault ;)

    7. Debbi says:

      I am just baffled while trying to read Isaiah. I even thought about quitting this study and find something else but I won’t. Reading the comments have been a big help to me. Thank-you everyone posts their thoughts on the Bible readings. It is a big help to me.

  15. Daniella Moore says:

    I just want to say I am in complete awe of this devotion today. Lisa, wow. I just finished my latest devotion journal on this devotion. I had to squeeze every little space with notes. Thank you for sharing this. My understanding of suffering, and fearing the Lord has gone up a couple of points. God is so cool. Thank you for sharing your heart and your wisdom.

  16. Hilary says:

    Whoo. Talk about conviction.

    1. Emilee says:


  17. Elizabeth says:

    This was absolutely amazing! I think that it is so comforting to know that God weeps as He smites. Even though He is angry, He still loves!

  18. Caroline says:

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story. It paints such a beautiful picture of the father’s love and compassion for us. I would have done ANYTHING to take the cancer from my nephew, and I know my SIL would have for her own son. Oh how the father feels that way about his children. <3

  19. Keri McCue says:

    “may we all be the type of people who weep rather than celebrate when our Heavenly Father disciplines another image-bearer.” – This comes when we drop our pride and realize that we are ALL depraved. We are all unworthy of His grace. This is a lesson that I am learning (and will continue to learn) and it is so humbling! It’s a heart check when we’re quick to judge others. We are just as sinful and need His compassion and forgiveness just as much.

  20. Carrie Rogers says:


  21. Alexis Maycock says:

    Two truths I have gleaned from today’s study:

    1. Empathy and sympathy towards our brother and sisters in Christ, our partners, our children…injustices we hear and see about abroad and in our own backyard.

    2. Another example of the deep of love our Father has for us…for me. His mercy and tender heart is sometimes hard to grasp especially when I flail and fall. But I receive that love and mercy today and walk in his grace.

  22. Kristina says:

    “By the grace of God, may we all be the type of people who weep rather than celebrate when our Heavenly Father disciplines another image-bearer.”

    If only we were all as quick to empathize with others and cry out for their pain instead of quietly shaking our head in agreement when judgement comes down on our brothers and sisters. This has been something that I have felt for a long time – how can we spread His kingdom if we are not compassionate and caring to all, not just the ones that look like us, that worship like us, that are easy to love? For even God cries as he smites! Thank you for this encouragement.

  23. Katalina says:

    What father enjoys disciplining and punishing their child? Those who believe that God can destroy without it affecting Him are very much mistaken. He feels what we feel and it hurts Him to see His people suffer when they shouldn’t have to but because actions have consequences, thats how we learn. We learn that our only Way in this life, our only Hope is following Jesus and obeying God. If you’re going through your own personal turmoil, asking God why this is happening, not only is He imploring for you to let Him take control but He is also there sharing your hurt. He yearns for the happiness of His children, but how can He bless them when they just hear and don’t listen. Here’s my perfect example for you; When I used to cry myself to sleep all those years ago, My tears were doubled because I could almost feel Gods tears sliding down my cheeks as well. I could almost feel Him trying to comfort me but because He wasn’t the refuge I was looking for, there wasn’t much He could do but feel impotent. Yet He still stayed with me every night and followed me in my routine until I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally chose Him…. where He had already chosen me. Compassion does not come greater than the kind God has for His believers. I fear God but I am not AFRAID of Him. He is Merciful and Compassionate and Loving but His commands keep me grounded knowing that if I stray away from Him, things will change quickly and drastically. He is my Answer, my Leader, my Safe Haven. I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason, and even though parts of those circumstances are unfortunate or painful, I know it’s because God has a plan and He’s working just as He is working in each and every of your lives.

    1. miss m says:

      “I finally chose Him…. where He had already chosen me. ”


  24. Lana says:

    If anyone struggles with idols, I found something to do that’s really helpful. After I journal these daily devotionals, I meditate afterwards. I begin my meditation with the intention that I am here for God. I am here to serve. This has reaaalllyyy helped me keep my focus on God throughout the day. I find I worship the things I’ve built much less, if at all. I used to be terrified that it would all be taken away (I own my own business), but with my focus firmly on God, that fear has been replaced with love and gratefulness and hope in Him for the future. So I hope this helps someone else who might struggle with idol worship. Life is so much better when we enjoy, give credit to, and rest in Zion.

    1. Kimberly says:

      Thank you Lana. It does help me begin my prayer/ meditation time.

    2. Christina says:

      Thank you for this focus. Love this!

    3. miss m says:

      Thank you for this reminder.

    4. Michele says:

      Thank you Lana, reading your response really encouraged me.

  25. Megh says:


  26. Marcie says:

    “In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made” (Isaiah 17:7-8)

    Our eyes wander. When things are going well or we think “we’ve got this” we look less to God and more at everything immediately around us. When we start to struggle with sin, we avert our eyes like a child so we don’t give it away if He were to catch our gaze. But the only place to find comfort and peace is when we train our eyes on Him. He has His eyes on us continually, we are never out of His sight, but we need to look to Him. Lord, lift my chin.

  27. miss m says:

    My husband is struggling with his faith, and has since we became parents 8 years ago. He loves our children fiercely and is a caring and wonderful father; as I knew he would be. But his zeal for fatherhood has wounded his relationship with the Lord. Yesterday he told me “I can’t support a Father that would beat his children.” And I knew he meant more then human fathers. And I understand where he is coming from. The readings of Isaiah are remarkably hard to read, it’s difficult to think about God’s wrath and the destruction he brings upon his children. O cringe for the pain caused, the lives uprooted.
    But He’s not bringing the destruction out of the blue, but as a ’cause and effect’ for their disobedience. It is a punishment and punishment isn’t given without cause. The commentary today helped me see that more clearly.
    “Our Creator Redeemer is not one of those dads who disciplines first and thinks later. He is a perfect parent, and His harshest correction and discipline are always, always braided with compassion.”
    This is so important to remember. We discipline our children as their actions calls for it. Their obedience is praised. God is a wonderful father.
    Please pray that my husband can learn to see this again.

    1. Zoe says:

      I will pray for your husband–that he has the strength to trust in the Lord once more. That his heart and mind are opened to the reality of the depth of God’s love. I pray that he may have a discerning heart.

    2. Katalina says:

      Praying for your husband!

    3. Churchmouse says:

      Yes. I will pray for your husband. We question why God would permit child abuse to even occur -but does it not show the utter depravity of man living without God? And the terrible state of our fallen world? I hate the evil that exists. It shows me how far we can go when we refuse to submit to our Creator. One day, there will be justice and the wrongs set right. For now, we persevere and show the better Way. God did not spare His own Son so that we all might have eternal life. Jesus rose from the dead so we know He has the power to do exactly what He said He would do. Those children will live a full life in the next. They have not been forgotten. Their suffering is not in vain. “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” by James Dobson is a resource I have found helpful.

    4. Sharon says:

      Praying now!

    5. She Reads Truth says:

      Morgan, praying for you and your husband in this time. What a sweet message to hear today in this time of struggle for you and your husband. Asking the Lord to open hearts and reveal Himself more and more to you both. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  28. Liz says:

    “…may we not have to wait for our self-made alters to crumble before we look to our loving, compassionate, merciful maker.” This struck me this morning… how often we insist on our way & ideas when all else points to God. Let’s not wait till all is falling apart around us, let’s look to Him now.

    1. Laura says:

      This statement also stuck out to me! God had to seriously shake things up over and over to get the Israelites’ attention–may we have the ability to recognize idols and the desire and control to get rid of them.

  29. Audrey says:

    I am thankful for Lisa’s words this morning because truthfully when I read the passages I felt disconnected from the words. I confess my mind is a bit distracted this morning because I had a very strange dream and haven’t been able to shake it, and today is the day I close on my first house so that has me a bit freaked out and distracted! But man her devotion brought me back in, and really enlightened these very hard chapters to read. As I look back at these chapters through a lens of God’s compassion in discipline, it reminds me that we grieve our Father’s heart. This is something my pastor has preached on this past year a couple of time. When we sin, when we reject God and turn from His path, we grieve His heart. Yet, He never turns from us. Yes, He will correct us and rebuke if necessary, but He never leaves. That is is His compassion….that He would love us enough to not leave us in our current state. That He would discipline and teach, always with love…even if we cannot see it at the time. Thank you Lord for being the perfect Father!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Audrey, congratulations on your first home! How exciting! Praying for you in this time.

      – Stormye

  30. Churchmouse says:

    I have heard the testimony of Lisa’s adoption of her daughter. I don’t presume to speak for her but here are my thoughts. Missy’s health issue is nothing to hide or be ashamed of. It is something they both deal with in such a graceful way, giving glory to God for the miracle of good health. Their story is also of great encouragement to those who may be considering adopting a child with an illness.

    1. Whitney says:

      Thank you, churchmouse. Well said.

    2. Mari says:

      Well said.

  31. Churchmouse says:

    “Selah.”(PS.68:19). Yes, Selah indeed. I need a good long pause after reading Isaiah 15-17. Judgment. Destruction. Correction. Discipline. None of these words really appeal to me. Yet they reveal God’s justice and that’s a word I like. Justice. I like that the wrongs in this world are dealt with and things are made right. But more than this, I am drawn to the Just One. He not only sees and acts but He does so with heartbreaking tenderness. The descriptions are vivid and harsh. Yet His mourning over that which compels Him to act is just as heartbreaking. His heart breaks over my sin and rebellion. My heart breaks because He loves me still. He corrects and disciplines because He loves. He doesn’t throw me out on the trash heap. He uses tough love to draw me back, to remind me that I am His and He has the better way. So…this morning…I pause to thank Him, yes thank Him, for His loving discipline. Selah. Selah indeed.

  32. Marytony says:

    “In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made”
    This made me reflect on how easy it to rely on idols when things are going well. But when things start falling apart, so do the idols and I have to look back to my maker.
    It is out of compassion that sometimes things have to be shattered, so I can stand on The Rock and not on anything else. Thank you Lord for doing whatever it takes to bring me back to you. Thank you that you do not delight in the hard process, but you wail and cry with me. And thank you that at the end of the day you are more concerned about my relationship with you than my comfort.

    1. Churchmouse says:

      Amen. Relationship over comfort. Yes.

    2. Kristen says:

      Yes. These are the thoughts I couldn’t get organized in my head but my heart is beating rapidly in agreement with them.!

  33. Sarah says:

    Reading this today just brought me to tears. While the last few days have been difficult to say the least and I have been rebellious and disobedient. It’s amazing to hear that God is still compassionate, still crying out, still loving, still our Counselor. It just moved me. Even when I totally and completely screw up, He loves me. He corrects me. He guides me. And even when I think He isn’t there He is. Instead of rebelling He is calling me to come to Him to be comforted. “Day after day He bears our burdens; God is our salvation.” – Psalm 68:19. How perfectly said?! Forgive me Lord!

  34. Christina says:

    “Therefore let Moab wail for Moab, let everyone wail. Mourn, utterly stricken. . . .” Isaiah 16:7

    “In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made. . . . For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger, though you make them grow on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow, yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain.” Isaiah 17:7-8, 10-11

    “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah” Psalm 68:19

    “In his profound commentary on Isaiah, Alec Motyer writes that God ‘weeps as he smites.’ Our Creator Redeemer is not one of those dads who disciplines first and thinks later. He is a perfect parent, and His harshest correction and discipline are always, always braided with compassion.”

    That we would wail over our own sin before the Creator God need strike our disobedience. That we would begin to look to our Maker for our refuge, our provision, our security. Too often we comfort ourselves with the success we see in the execution of our personally devised plans for our lives, and yes, our plans might endure for a time and even make us feel special, safe, accomplished, in control. But one day our “harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain” unless we turn to the One who made each of us specially (yet so much alike), keeps us in the shadow of His wing (yet does not promise us continued, earthly safety), works through us to accomplish His purpose and plan, and maintains the rhythm of our lives for our good and His glory. May I see my sin and turn from it before the God of the universe has to hold my nose to it for me to recognize it.

    1. Audrey says:


  35. Kathleen says:

    Give counsel. Grant justice. Be a shelter. I especially love be a shelter. Especially in this chaotic world. Correction and discipline are braided with compassion. The braided imagery is so perfect.

  36. Brittany A. says:

    “His harshest correction and discipline are always, always braided with compassion.” Oh, so good and true. If we can remember this, we’ll never doubt His goodness. I love you and your Missy and your beautiful story.

    1. Bethany says:

      I was coming to say the same! Those words are powerful! “Always braided with compassion.”

      I, too, love Lisa and her story. Her transparency and tenacity in being Missy’s mother are amazing!

  37. Kathy says:

    I was really drawn to verses 3-5 in chapter 16. This should be my attitude toward those who are lost. “Give counsel…Grant justice…Be a shelter…” Too many times my attitude toward those who are lost is one of self-righteousness and judgment. I somehow imagine that because I am saved I am morally superior and would never oppose God like they seem to be. It’s easy to forget that except for God’s compassion and mercy I would also be lost and destroyed. I forget that my mission is not to condemn sinners to hell, but to come alongside them as a fellow sinner, testifying to God’s amazing grace, mercy, and compassion.
    I pray that today God will give me a heart for those who are lost. I want to be able to see them through His eyes and hear them through His ears.
    Lord, don’t ever let me take for granted what You did for me when You died on the cross. Never let me forget that redemption always has the last word. Break my heart for those who are lost.
    Have a blessed day!

    1. Marytony says:

      What a beautiful reflection!

    2. Laura says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Kathy!

    3. Katalina says:

      Amen Kathy, we must do as God wants and be examples of His love, compassion and mercy!

  38. Lauren says:

    I thought this, too.