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Stubborn Israel

“Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the Lord and invoke the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness— 2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and claim to rely on the God of Israel— the Lord Almighty is his name: 3 I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4 For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze. 5 Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’ 6 You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them?


“From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. 7 They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’ 8 You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth. 9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely. 10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.”

Lord, thank you. Thank you so much for this. I continue thinking that somehow I knew and understood your promises, because you told them to me and that somehow that made me strong. But Lord, you told me these things so that you can be glorified in all of this. Not so that I can be glorified. Forgive me Lord, for my stubbornness, I don’t want to steal your glory. You alone can save. You alone can save.

Lord, and even despite my foolishness, you are so good. You are so forgiving. You are making a way. Help me to rest Lord. Help me to stop toiling and to sit back and enjoy this race marked out for me. I don’t want to keep trying and thinking and praying that somehow I can fix this. Lord, I can’t fix this. But I can enjoy the season you have put me in. I can spend time with you, with my kids, with myself. I can do the things I love to do. Read, write, play with my kids, ride my bike, enjoy a sermon, spend time in the sun, spend time in the rain. There is so much ahead of me each day and I don’t have to spend each day wondering what I am doing wrong or right and how I am effecting the way the wind blows or if anything I am doing even matters. No, the truth is that right now it doesn’t. As long as I am with you Lord, I am doing the only thing that matters. Spending time in your presence. And I don’t want to miss out on even one moment of that. Lord, help me to give credit where credit is due. All to you, all to you, I owe everything. “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.” Isaiah 48:20b

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