April 4, 2019
Isaiah 43:1-7 The Message (MSG)
Today is the twenty-sixth day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.” Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God. When you and I pray, we should maintain an awareness of God’s great love for us. Despite our failures to love God the way he deserves, he has chosen to respond with love and mercy. God is our faithful God who extends forgiveness and grace. Our lives are precious to him. When you pray, do you realize you are sharing time with Someone who sees you as precious; Someone who would pay any price to be with you and take care of you?
In our passage today, Israel has spent five decades under Babylonian captivity; God allowed Babylon to overtake Israel because they were unfaithful to him. Isaiah kept trying to call them back into a posture of repentance, but they did not listen. Therefore, Israel tasted exile and it was painful. During that time, they did a great deal of soul-searching and praying about their relationship with Yahweh. They may have been wondering if Yahweh would be faithful to them in the future; after all, they rejected him, right? Israel’s problem is our problem, too. We forget God is perfect Love; we think about our human capacity for love and judge God accordingly. Because Israel belongs to the Lord, God will be faithful. You and I can count on God’s faithfulness to us. God is for us not against us. That does not mean the way will always be easy. In fact, sometimes our paths lead to hard places. But, God has promised to be with us. As we pray and seek God, let us never forget he is faithful and we were created for his glory. He is going to see us through. Praise our Faithful God!
During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart. P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield. May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.
Isaiah 43:1-7 When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place
1-4 But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
“So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
I’ll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one.’”
Prayer: Lord, I praise you for your faithfulness to me as your daughter. I repent for any thoughts of doubt. I ask you to stay close to me. I yield my will to make a way for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.