As I first read these passages, I was challenged by the Isaiah readings. There was so much going on there! Isaiah’s prophesies against Babylon, the Philistines, the Moabites. These traditional enemies would be defeated as God’s purposes for his people would prevail. But how would these chapters fit with the other two readings?!
Yet, as I studied these passages and prayed, God started to reveal threads that were running through each of these writings. I am always amazed at how he opens our eyes to see more than just words on a page if we truly ask to see.
In Isaiah’s prophesy, he was warning the people of things both present and future. The people of God had a form of godliness, yet in their hearts they were corrupt. They were constantly aligning themselves with the pagan nations surrounding them, forgetting ALL that God had done for them.
In our Psalm, we are also reminded of the rebellious hearts of the Israelites, who had seen the mighty acts of God with their own eyes. Yet, just like in the days of Isaiah, the people were more concerned with their will than they were with God’s. Once again though, God extended mercy and kindness as he does to all of us.
2 Corinthians once again speaks about mans’ heart and where our loyalties lie. If everything we own belongs to God, why would we hold back? Could it be fear, that he won’t provide our needs the way we might want?
Today, just as in the days of David, Isaiah or Paul, we, Gods’ children, continue to lose our way, following our own agendas over his. Who or what do we choose to align ourselves with? How often do we watch something on Netflix that we know is not honoring to God? We rationalize away our discomfort – how harmful could it really be?
May we all choose to align ourselves with the Good Shepherd and his divine purpose for our lives. We don’t have to look very far to see how easy we can be led astray. We can easily long to be conformed to a world’s value system that we were never intended to embrace. As the 2 Corinthians passage reminds us, he gives us gifts to be used for his purposes. May we never settle for anything less. May we use his gifts to that he has given us to make a difference in our broken world.
Wife, Mother, Grandmother and chaplain for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.