1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. (Ps. 1:1-3) NLT
One of the benefits of walking with the Lord and having quiet time in his presence is getting to know his voice. Only through prayer and time in his word have I learned to discern his voice from all the noise of the world. It isn’t a voice, per se, but a thought that comes to my mind that I know wasn’t mine. Like yesterday, for instance. I’ve been struggling with something and praying for an answer for several days now. I kept pressing in, praying, weeping tears, and feeling forgotten. Then a thought came to me to watch a sermon from a particular pastor. In it were the words I needed to hear. In fact, I listened to it several times because it was so very specific to my worry that I had taken to him. There was scripture, the law of the LORD, that addressed what my real issue was. The point of the sermon was about trusting God and he was reminding me, ever so lovingly, that he will take care of me. I chose to take him at his word and found peace. I needed that more than I needed what I prayed about.
36 “Now I want to say something more about this city. You have been saying, ‘It will fall to the king of Babylon through war, famine, and disease.’ But this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37 I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. 41 I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
42 “This is what the Lord says: Just as I have brought all these calamities on them, so I will do all the good I have promised them. (Jer. 32:36-42) NLT
God is a God of restoration. It’s who he is and what he does. It’s what Jesus proclaimed of himself in the temple while he was reading Isaiah 61:1-2. It’s the very reason Jesus came to earth—to restore us to the Father.
Even when we stray from him, or doubt, or forget his promises, his word is filled with the promise of restoration. The Israelites were constantly forgetting, building and worshiping other gods, not upholding their part of the covenant God made with them. And, he told them on many occasions what would happen if they disobeyed. God is about to follow through on this. They were to be exiled. Captured by Babylon and taken from their land he promised them. There are consequences to disobedience. But already he had a plan to bring them back, to love them, to never forsake them.
This is a lesson for me as well. No matter what it seems is going on around me, God will never stop doing good for me. The worries of the future need to stay there. I have enough of whatever I need for today. I can trust in his goodness and love above all else.
Lord, I thank you for your words that are so alive. Even though they were written thousands of years ago, you use them to speak to me. Today. In 2020! Like Israel, you have proclaimed your love for me over and over. Like them, I need to be reminded over and over. You never grow weary of the great need I have, for it is an emptiness that can only be filled by you. How blessed am I to be your child! Thank you for your great compassion and goodness. In Jesus name, Amen