Your Faithfulness Reaches to the Skies

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ISAIAH 12:1-14:32 | 2 CORINTHIANS 13:1-14 | PSALM 57:1-11 | PROVERBS 23:9-11

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Isaiah is on a roll.  The man has much to prophesy, and he spares no time in doing it. 

There is at first, the prolonged prophecy against Babylon—the rulers of which subjugated the children of Israel for many a generation.  Isaiah foretells this of this nation-state:

19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms,
the pride and glory of the Babylonians,
will be overthrown by God
like Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 She will never be inhabited
or lived in through all generations;
there no nomads will pitch their tents,
there no shepherds will rest their flocks.
21 But desert creatures will lie there,
jackals will fill her houses;
there the owls will dwell,
and there the wild goats will leap about.
22 Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds,
jackals her luxurious palaces.
Her time is at hand,
and her days will not be prolonged.

Next, there is a no-mincing-of-words prophecy for the Philistines, from whom arose the mighty Goliath who was felled by a few smooth stones in a sling by a young boy named David.  Isaiah says this of these people:

29 Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken;
from the root of that snake will spring up a viper,
its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
30 The poorest of the poor will find pasture,
and the needy will lie down in safety.
But your root I will destroy by famine;
it will slay your survivors.

31 Wail, you gate! Howl, you city!
Melt away, all you Philistines!
A cloud of smoke comes from the north,
and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
32 What answer shall be given
to the envoys of that nation?
“The LORD has established Zion,
and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”

Turning next to our reading of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, we have arrived at the very last chapter of this book, and we find Paul’s continued exhortations to the young Christians there to continue strong in their newly found faith. 

He says to them,  5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 

Finally, he concludes his letter with this timeless advice:  11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Next, we turn to our reading of the psalms, and we find David, the psalmist, plaintively asking for the Lord’s help.  Surely, these must have been words that had an origin in danger and fear of life even as David spent much of his youth being pursued by Saul, king of Israel, who was determined to kill him.  David’s prayer for help and protection is one that is a timeless one, and it would behoove us to exercise similar trust in God’s provision.  David says:

1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

 2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.

And it is with a matchless confidence that David proclaims toward the end of this psalm, these words:

9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
   your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Finally, a few verses from the book of Proverbs that are worthy of record and deep rumination:

 9 Do not speak to fools,
for they will scorn your prudent words.

That, in and of itself is a most priceless nugget for the day, but there’s more where that came from, as can be seen in these verses below that implicitly exhort one to take up the cause of the weak:

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
   or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
   he will take up their case against you.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.

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