Lord God, with a grateful and humble heart I come thanking you for this day of grace. I thank you for helping me remember that I am a new creation, saved by grace and sealed by you through the waters of baptism. Thank you for calling me from death to life. Now as I go to this night to rest, be with me. Renew me and reneegize me that I may be a mirror of your light in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Daily Archives: April 13, 2021
Isaiah 4:2-6 (ESV)
The Branch of the Lord Glorified
2 In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. 3 And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, 4 when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.5 Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. 6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
What a beautiful image the prophet paints! The people of Jerusalem, whose sins had darkened their souls, would be cleansed once again. Their offenses would be removed from them, and God will be for them “shade from the parching heat of day: and “cover from storm and rain.”
But as beautiful as this image is, there is also a sense of seriousness and even foreboding. For the people will come to this position of holiness and comfort only as the Lord “purges” them “with a blast of searing judgment.”
That doesn’t sound so attractive, does it? At least not in the short term. Who wants to be blasted by God’s judgment? Don’t you wish God would just wave a magic wand instead and make it as if nothing ever happened?
The truth is, it is much better for us to be purged than to be magically pardoned. Why? Because in the purging comes a transformation that mere pardon can never bring. As we take a good, long look at ourselves, we get a clearer sense of how we have offended the Lord. We come to see how our thoughts and actions have distanced us from Jesus and how they have hurt the people around us. And seeing this, we are struck to the heart, and we want to change. We want the Lord not only to forget our sins but to make us into a new creation. We want a new heart so that we will no longer hurt him and those around us. Simply put, we will want to be purged because we know that this is the only way to be set free.
Today, spend some time looking closely at your life. Let God purge you and remake you. Then, you will know what it is like to have Jesus as your comfort and shield!