Friday 13 December 2019

Bible Book:

Truly, O people in Zion ... your eyes shall see your Teacher. (vs.19-20)

Isaiah 30:19-26 Friday 13 December 2019

Psalm: Psalm 1


This passage reveals the effects which will stem from God's grace in the midst of judgement.

First, the Judeans (the Jewish people) will perceive God. Second, they will abandon the idolatry with which they had attempted to supply their own needs. Third, God will then supply the very things which the idols professed to supply but would, and could not.

The importance of both judgement and grace is clearly spelt out. It is judgement which shatters false values and makes one attentive. It is grace which motivates the broken to believe and obey. But neither is ultimately effective without the other.

This passage from Isaiah is a classic example of an assuring homily in the wisdom/Deuteronomic style. The gracious, healing, guiding nature of God is certain and dominant. The name of God is prominent as "your Teacher" (verse 20).

The specific concern with the inhabitants of Jerusalem must be taken as a reflection of the political situation of the post-exilic, Persian period (when Judah was rebuilt as a province under the rule of Persia). This, along with heightened political tensions, the threat of war and prophetic teachings that God had sent wars against them caused the people to despair of God's help and goodness.

God's presence is a gentle and constant reminder of 'the way' whenever they are tempted to stray, and acts as a strong admonition against idolatry.

When the Lord delivers the people from Babylon and they return to Judah, God will bind up the hurt of the people and it is almost as though the land itself will rejoice. There will be a marvellous improvement in the fertility and richness of the natural order, and even domestic farm animals will be fed with great abundance.

Ultimately, the new world order will reflect the new experience of the people of God.


To Ponder:

    • To what extent are we really capable of creating a peaceful and harmonious co-existence where there is enough for all in our contemporary world?
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