Monday, October 20, 2014

No Peace for the Wicked

 Isaiah 57:14  It shall be said, "Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people's way." 15  For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16  For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made. 17  Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry; I struck them, I hid and was angry; but they kept turning back to their own ways. 18  I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. 19  Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the LORD; and I will heal them. 20  But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud. 21  There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

The central thrust of this passage is that peace is to be found the closer we live to our Creator: “the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity... will heal them... will lead them... will repay them with comfort”.  This is not dependent on being spiritually pure, or religiously correct, or even being happy and well. This is the action of God in our lives and is called Grace.

God chooses to withdraw peace from the wicked and instead to bless the humble.  

For Thought
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest...
Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.
Peace, perfect peace, ’mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose

Ordinary 30
52 True Humility
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 317.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

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