Thursday 05 January 2017

Bible Book:

“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing!” (v. 13)

Isaiah 49:1-13 Thursday 5 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 97


Prophesy is sometimes characterised as a prediction about thefuture … this is what will happen one day. However, like manyprophesies, these words offer hope in a crisis that alreadyexists.

Prediction narrows the future down to something. 'You will meeta tall dark handsome stranger!' No matter what you do to avoid sucha frightening prospect, the prediction comes true and you see thatyour every action was a step in that direction!

Prophesy does the opposite. Prophesy opens the future from adespairing certainty to new possibilities.

Promise is not prediction because promises turn our eyes awayfrom the dreadful prospects of tomorrow to a time where "they willnot hunger or thirst" (v. 10). Promise creates hope because of theone who promises, and so Isaiah's words are from the Lord, "theRedeemer of Israel" (v. 7). This God has a track record and God'sreliability as the redeemer is the basis on which the presentcrisis can be faced.

What makes these passages in Isaiah stand out even more is theway that the message is given to those that feel so utterlydespised and rejected (verse 7). Prophesy speaks into darkness andsadness with a promise that is trustworthy only because of the onewho makes it. This isn't positive thinking: Looking on the brightside. Hope is different from optimism. Optimism sees a glass emptyand declares it half full. Hope, on the other hand, notices thehalf empty glass, and hears the word of God that speaks of one'full to the top and running over'. The response to such promise isthus joy, "sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth".

To Ponder

  • Where are the hungry and thirsty places for you now?
  • Where are we sometimes despised?
  • What promises of God fill you with joy because of your trust inGod?
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