Isaiah 50-52; 1 Thessalonians 1

In Isaiah we read about God’s sovereignty. Quite a mighty concept. We read of His wrath, His power. We read of our sin, and how what we deserve is his wrath. But we get a foretelling of Jesus to come. The Good News. Our salvation!

I grew up in a Christian home, learning from a child of God’s sovereignty, but I don’t think any of us can truly grasp it this side of heaven. Like many things, I think of this as something we see through a glass darkly. I read of a God who created the heavens and the earth, and yet knows the number of hairs on my head. How can this be?

This morning I was up before dawn, getting ready to write this post. I let the dog out, and right there in front of me I am reminded of God’s power, His glory. It was dark, the stars were out, and there were faint waves of lighter sky emanating from where the sun would soon rise. If you really weren’t looking, you wouldn’t see them at all. Then, over to my right, I see the Morning Star (technically Venus). I am reminded of a very dark time in my life when I was in this very same spot and saw the very same thing (Venus in the same location). At that time I thought back to a CD of a Christmas cantata that I would listen to constantly. It was a recording of a live event that my former church had every year. The music was beautiful. There was occasional narration, and I remember the narrator (a voice of a person I knew, making it more special) speaking of the coming of Christ and He was referred to as the “bright and Morning Star”. As I looked out on the night sky I remember seeing this star that morning, remembering the cantata, and feeling true hope deep down in my heart. Actually feeling the presence of God. Hearing a whisper that He is there with me. The Bright and Morning Star.

I struggle, because on the one hand I know that God is Good, and He is merciful.

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]

16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:14-21)

God is in control and not me. Why does that scare me so? Why can I rest in that sometimes, and other times it scares me to death? But I am warned not to give up and light my own torch, find my own way.

10 Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on his God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50: 10-11)

My instruction is to fear the LORD, and obey the word of his servant.

I am to know that God created me for a purpose, and I am accountable to that. I am to fear God. Trust in Him. Let His Morning Star be my light and my salvation. I do not need to create my own light to see and lean on my own understanding. Thank you for this reminder today, Lord, as I get ready for a new week.

suegraff

From the archives, originally published October 1, 2012. Thanks, Sue!

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

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