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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.
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.
Gracious God, you are indeed a lover of justice. This passage from Isaiah reminds us of just how much you care about justice, especially for those who can’t secure it for themselves. Help us, dear Lord, to share your passion for justice and to seek justice in our lives. Guide us in our personal relationships, in our professional responsibilities, and in the exercise of our citizenship, so that we might reflect your justice in how we live.
I wonder how I need to know Christ today. I also wonder how you need to know him. Do you need him to be a wonderful and wise counselor, one who can guide you in your work, your family, and every other context of life? Or do you need Christ to be mighty, to be a source of strength and healing in your life? Perhaps you need him to be like a faithful father, whose love for you is forever firm? Or do you need Christ to grant you his peace to your troubled heart, or to your family, or to your workplace?
In a world of competing loyalties, we often feel torn. Who gets our primary commitment? Our company? Our country? Our political party? Our church? Our family? Isaiah reminds us to put God first above all. When we do, the rest of life will fall into its rightful place.
Through Matthew, we know that Jesus is Immanuel, not in that this was his given name, but in that he, more than any other sign, demonstrates God’s presence with us (see Matt 1:23). This presence continues after Jesus’s ascension to heaven through the gift of the Spirit.
When God considers your co-workers, your neighbors, your family, your fellow students, your friends at the gym, your brothers and sisters at church, the homeless who hang out downtown, and the other people in your life, he asks: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” How will you respond to this question?
In Isaiah’s day, the people of Israel, especially her leaders and teachers, had forsaken the truth. They justified their own injustice in ways that turned truth on its head – calling evil, good; dark, light; and bitter, sweet.
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