Short daily devotionals for the socially distanced. These are thoughts from my daily time in the word. I use a bible reading plan that will have me in a different section of Scripture every day.
I hope they serve to give you courage and hope. You can subscribe to receive them as a daily email at the bottom of the page.
Thursday, April 9th
Reading: Isaiah 34-36
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God …
— Is 35:3–4 (ESV).
Isaiah prophesies to a people in waiting. A lot of what he tells them, as an oracle from God, is that it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. This was a common theme in the words of the prophets to the people of God. But, in Isaiah 35, there is a shift, a move, towards the good news of God’s redemption of His people. It is going to get worse, to be sure, but God is working on something and it is going to be incredible for all who wait for it.
How then are they to wait for it? They are to strengthen hands that are weak and to firm knees that feel feeble, and they are to live without giving in to fear or giving up in the face of anxiety. The way to do that?
Behold, your God!
This text is quoted in part by the writer to the Hebrews who echoes the same instruction in Hebrews 12:12-13. He tells them to consider the costly sacrifice of Jesus and to embrace the loving discipline of the Father, and with those considerations in mind, to press on a life of faith while they wait for the day of their redemption.
You see, the people of God have always been a people of waiting. Isaiah was speaking to an enslaved people waiting for the arrival of their messiah. The writer to the Hebrews wrote to a persecuted people waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. We too today are a people in waiting. We are not fully home, and our eyes are on the sky, looking for the return our great King, in the same way that He left.
What is important though, is what we watch for while we wait.
Our belief will be determined by our beholding.
Our faith will be fueled by the object of our focus.
Where we look will determine how well we last.
And so friend, as you wait, behold your God! The promise Isaiah made to God’s waiting people then still applies to God’s waiting people today.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
— Is 35:10 (ESV)
Courage, dear friends.