Going Deeper 1/8/2019

The first reading for Epiphany 1...

Isaiah 43:1-7   But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.  Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.  Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, "Give them up," and to the south, "Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

 

Uncertainty ruled the day.  Jerusalem, long believed to be the invincible home of the one true God, had fallen to the Babylonians.  Even worse, prophets like Isaiah had declared that this was the Lord's doing.  Israel had repeatedly broken covenant with God, who through the prophets had called them time and time again to repent and return to the Lord their God, only to be ignored... or worse.  And now everything had fallen apart.  All seemed to be lost.

 

Uncertainty might not rule our day, but its presence seems to be growing among us.  The political turmoil in our nation's capital and growing discord and strife among the general populace make for an uncertain future.  And the world stage seems even worse, with fears of pending economic ruin, climate change, and military and nuclear threats constantly in the headlines.  There is a lot of uncertainty!!

 

Oh, how we need these words of Isaiah!  Into the darkness, the chaos, the uncertainty, the prophet speaks words of assurance: "You are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned...  Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you... Do not fear, for I am with you..."  We dare not trust in ourselves or our leaders.  We can, however, trust completely and forever in our God.

 

When you experience uncertainty, turn to the Lord.

 

With You in Him,

Mark

   May 2019   
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