Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Isaiah 18-22

Daily Reading
Isaiah 18-22

Daily Thought

Isaiah continues with chapter upon chapter of God's judgment against nation upon nation; and so it is asked, "Why is God so judgmental? What have they done that's so bad?"

Back in Genesis, the Garden, the beginning, God gave us a few commands to obey. They were God's design for life on earth. First, he said, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Genesis 1:28). Mind you, he said this to a married couple, but he commanded them to have sex, and a lot of it. That does not sound like a mean God. Then he said, "I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food" (Genesis 1:29). He told us to eat, and to eat a lot. Not gluttony, but quite a feast. After that, he made a day holy, the seventh day (later, it would be called the Sabbath), to rest. Right off the bat he told us to take a break once a week. Again, not so bad. Finally, he said, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17). We can do a lot of just about everything. God lives large and his limitations are small. One tree, that's all.

We chose the tree. We keep choosing the tree. All sin is choosing the tree, and though it seems there are a lot of ways to sin, that must mean there are boundless ways to do good. We miss this feast for a piece of fruit. These nations are living small, and that piece of fruit leads to death. They allow what is unnatural and unlawful to become their norm, then wonder at the consequences. They say, "There is joy and revelry,  slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! 'Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die!'" (Isaiah 22:13). Turn out the lights, the party's over. That's the fruit.

But God says, "On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine-
    the best of meats and the finest of wines. 
He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears 
    from all faces" (Isaiah 25:6, 8 NIV).

That's the feast. God is not mean; his judgment is his grace. If we listen, it will restore us to the life he designed for us. Both the ungodly and the godly party. The difference is one party ends when the other is just getting started.

Daily Prayer

My God in heaven, Your Name is Wonderful. I put all my trust, all my life in Your Name. I gladly exchange anything life has to offer me today for eternity with You. I have only just tasted Your glory here on earth. What will it be like when I am in Your presence. What a party!

To You, all glory and majesty, honor and praise.


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