Sunday, October 2, 2011

Redemption through the mud and muck...

Isaiah 43

Israel’s Only Savior

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
 Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.

I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."
Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
 All the nations gather together,
and the peoples assemble.
Who among them can declare this,
and show us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
and let them hear and say, It is true.
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.

 I, I am the LORD,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and I am God.
Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back?"
Thus says the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"For your sake I send to Babylon
and bring them all down as fugitives,
even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
I am the LORD, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King."

Thus says the LORD,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
who brings forth chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
 "Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.

 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.

"Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
or honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
or wearied you with frankincense.
You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins;
you have wearied me with your iniquities.

"I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
 Your first father sinned,
and your mediators transgressed against me.
Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,
and deliver Jacob to utter destruction
and Israel to reviling.

Put me in remembrance....

Do you ever journal prayers?  I do, often it is in times of transition when I don't understand where God is leading us, leading E.  I read a prayer this morning that I had written a handful of years ago, and had to smile.  I can say without exception, which shouldn't surprise me, yet, it always does, God is faithful to answer my requests more fully than I ever imagine. 

I look forward to looking back on this time, so I can see just what it is the Lord is doing, or at least to the parts that I am privy to.  What wonder is it to trust a God that loves us so intimately...Who deals with us tenderly and faithfully through the mud and muck of this world.

In every home, in every neighborhood, in every town or city, in every state, in every country, on each continent, God is there, not just waiting, not just watching, but loving, and working, and directing, and holding His beloved creation in His able hands.  Bringing us to redemption, reconciling those who are called to Himself, restoring to grandeur what was fallen, lost but never abandoned.

The twist of my brain, and tugs on my heart leave me longing to see God...I imagine when we are in heaven, we will sit around table laden with truly good food, we will tell of His goodness and then we will  unfold the stories of His wondrous work of our redemption.  His light will overwhelm us, and we will know fully His goodness.


Susan said...

I enjoyed this post. One of my very favorite verses is "I have called you by name. You are mind."

Trisha said...

Oh, yes, Jo, I journal prayers. What a precious memory they are of God's provision and of how He's changing me and making me more like Christ....and btw, how did I miss this post?

But God's timing is perfect. Such encouragement here, and I love it! Once again, your beautiful words have blessed me. Love to you!