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Do you ever read a passage of Scripture and wonder, “How in the world is this relevant for me?” It might be an obscure law in Leviticus or the counting of the Israelites in numbers. Or it could be Isaiah 15, which reveals the coming judgment of Moab. Is there anything here for us today?
We don’t talk much about God’s punishment today. For those of us who are so rightly focused on the grace of God, it’s easy to forget God’s justice. The Lord does not dismiss evil as no big deal, however common a dismissal is in our time of history. Rather, God hates evil. He judges it and punishes it.
When we take our first big drink of the water of salvation, we haven’t exhausted God’s supply. Rather, we are invited to continue to “draw water from the wells of salvation,” as God’s grace touches and transforms every part of life.
As Christians, we know that the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1). We confidently understand that God created all things by, through, and for Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:16). These two scriptures alone build the context that we need in order to realize that there is no sacred vs. secular for the believer. God is God in every facet of this earth, and we are to exist as his children in every space of our lives. This includes our work. Under this context, we are able to understand that God will indeed use us, not just in the church, but also in our jobs, our daily work.
Meaningful engagement in institutional life – being part of a marriage, a family, a local congregation, a company, a charitable organization, a local community, a city, a state, a nation – is some of the most challenging work we do as human beings. And yet, as today’s text reminds us, that is where God’s word is to be inscribed, “on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”
Psalm 70 is a brief prayer for speedy deliverance. David is being harassed by his enemies, who, according to verse 2, are trying to kill him. So he cries out to the Lord to come quickly and help (70:1).
If you were to be asked, “What is the world full of today?” what might you say? Perhaps, “The world is full of activity” or “The world is full of adventure” or “The world is full of suffering” or “The world is full of danger.” As you think about this world, what would be the very best thing to fill the whole earth?
As I reflect on this passage from Isaiah, it moves me to honor Jesus Christ as God’s unique ruler. But it also stirs in me a desire to become more like Jesus in my own leadership. I want to be one whose judgment goes beneath the surface. I want to see more than what is apparent to my eyes, to hear more than I can hear with my ears. I want to exercise leadership based on God’s righteousness, God’s right order for all relationships. I want to make decisions according to God’s justice.
I’ll confess that sometimes I can be like the king of Assyria. I can let my pride in my accomplishments overwhelm my gratitude to God for working in me. I can think and act as if I am doing great things, rather than realizing that whatever I might accomplish is only by God’s grace and power.
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