Tuesday 15 March 2011

Bible Book:

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near." (v. 6)

Isaiah 55:6-9 Tuesday 15 March 2011


Chapters 40-55 of Isaiah clearly relate to the period of theExile in Babylon. The people of Israel are defeated and humiliatedand the Temple has been destroyed. Again, we find ourselves in awilderness of sorts where there is estrangement and alienation fromall that is familiar and safe.

The despair of the Exile, however, is beginning to be replaced by ahope in the future; a hope which resides in the forgiveness andrestoration offered by God. In the earlier verses of chapter 55,God promises to make with the people "an everlasting covenant" (verse3) with an invitation to share in the attendant riches ofabundant life. The suffering of exile is drawing to a close andsalvation is at hand.

This salvation is to be found in God: seek the Lord, call upon him,return to him and he will "abundantly pardon" (verse 7). Here isthe grace and generosity of God, whose thoughts and ways are,thankfully, so much higher than the people's.

The promise of "an everlasting covenant" remains, as does theinvitation to share in abundant life. Suffering may need to beendured and Lent can remind us that the journey is not always easyand smooth, but it is one on which we are accompanied by a graciousand generous God.

During Lent, take time to seek and call upon the Lord, and returnto God. If there is despair, let us find hope in the promises andfaithfulness of God. If there is suffering let us seek salvation inthe grace and generosity of God. The Lenten journey is one of hopeand redemption, as it prepares us for the ultimate source of hopeand salvation, namely, the death and resurrection of JesusChrist.

To Ponder

What do you think is the difference between hopeand optimism?

Reflecting on your own experiences of suffering,despair or alienation what helped you through those difficult times- or continues to help you now?

How might you seek the Lord, and call and returnGod?

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