A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Lent Day 33
Today's reading: Isaiah 54:9-10
When the Messiah is at work there is rejoicing and praising. Because the Messiah "took up our pain and bore our suffering" and "was pierced for our transgressions" and "crushed for our iniquities… we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5). We live "healed" lives. Life changes when the redemptive love of the Messiah of God is allowed to be present in a people. It’s not magic; it’s grace. So it is, when Isaiah 54 opens up we read of a power that is greater than any power we’ve ever seen. Isaiah describes it this way.
Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth! You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women. God says so! - Isaiah 54:1, MSG
The point is that God comes into what appears to be hopeless situations, barren situations, dead-end situations, and brings renewal and hope and vitality and a future. Israel had experienced the desert, the dead-end, the hopelessness, and they were tired. Then, God showed up and everything changed. Yes, the people had sinned and rejected the God of their fathers. They rebelled and had lost their heart for God. In the judgment of exile, they struggled, but then God reminds them,
"This exile is just like the days of Noah for me:
I promised then that the waters of Noah
would never again flood the earth.
I’m promising now no more anger,
no more dressing you down.
For even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart."
The God who has compassion on you says so.
- Isaiah 54:9-10, MSG
What is the Lenten message today? "My love won’t walk away from you." Here we have the Gospel of Jesus in a nutshell. "Though the mountains be shaken and though the hills be removed… My unfailing love for you will not be shaken" (v. 8, NIV).
Take hold of the hand that has already taken hold of you, and live in the renewal life of God’s grace and love and redemption and forgiveness and hope. You will discover that in the midst of your life, God is present with you in His "covenant of peace" (v. 10, NIV).
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