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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.
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.
In yesterday’s devotion we considered the apparent oxymorons of a “crucified Messiah” and a “doubting disciple”. Leaders who find appropriate ways to share their doubts help their followers understand that Jesus won’t reject us for doubt alone. Today, I want to talk about another apparent oxymoron.
I think the New Testament has a couple of apparent oxymorons. The first is “crucified Messiah”. Keep in mind I’m calling these apparent oxymorons because, though they might seem absurd, in God’s wisdom they are simply true.
Psalm 69 is David’s passionate cry for divine help. He has been sinking into the mire of trouble. Some is the result of his own sin (69:5), while much of David’s difficulty stems from the evil of his opponents (69:4). Even though people laugh at him for his consistent yearning for God (69:10-12), David persists in praying to the Lord, hoping that this is a time of God’s “favor” (69:13).
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.
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