Tuesday 24 January 2012

Bible Book:

who leads you in the way you should go." (v. 17)

Isaiah 48:12-21 Tuesday 24 January 2012


Today's passage is the second half of a poem announcing a newExodus for those now in exile. In the first half of the poem (Isaiah48:1-11) God calls God's own people back to Jerusalem, assuresthem that all that is happening is God's purpose and challengesthem to hear and respond. In this, the second part, the same themesare revisited but through different imagery. God, the creator andredeemer, calls all to assemble (verse 14), as if in a great publicmeeting, and there openly declares his purpose and providence.Cyrus, the new powerful Persian conqueror who is threatening tooverpower the ailing Babylonian empire is probably referred to inthis verse as the one who the Lord loves and who will fulfil God'spurposes. People are to draw close and make no mistake that this isGod's unfolding future. The God who taught them (at Sinai) and ledthem (through the desert) is at work now in human history.

Verse 18 comes somewhat abruptly into the flow. It is meant toarrest attention, for here God reminds people of their past missedopportunities. If they had believed and worked with God in pasttimes they would have been as flowing as a river, as unstoppable asthe sea and as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore(verse 19). 

The force of verses 20-21 is to urge them to grasp the newopportunity: to seize the moment to begin afresh with God andfollow God's leading once more into the desert. In this new Exodus,as with the first, God will provide the resources needed for thejourney. 

To Ponder

As I write, the financial climate is bleak andthe collapse of western economies is a real possibility. What mightGod be saying to us through this?

What are the opportunities of this day? Pray thatGod will make you alert to the possibilities of faith today.

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