Wednesday 03 March 2021

Bible Book:

The LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth: 'Say to daughter Zion, "See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him."'(v. 11)

Isaiah 62:1-12 Wednesday 3 March 2021

Psalm 96


The way in which this chapter is read will depend in large part on who the reader thinks the speaker might be, particularly in the first seven verses. If the speaker is God, or a prophet speaking on behalf of God, then the chapter is a powerful declaration of the coming vindication of Zion. Zion here is not only a reference to a city, it is also a symbolic reference to the people of God, the place of divine favour. The declarations thus pick up the divine speech from the previous chapter and carry assurances of divine promise: "You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her." (verse 4)

However, it’s entirely possible to read those verses as the utterance of an alternative speaker, one who is disappointed with the seeming silence or inactivity of God. Therefore, the opening words of the chapter, for example, which declare, "For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent" might be read as a critique of the God who is silent, as if to say, though God stays silent, I will not.

Verses 6 and 7 go on to allude to sentinels who will not be silent, and who remind God and give God no rest. Verse 8 and those that follow might well give some insight into the content of their reminder to God: of the promise of provision, protection from enemies, and praise in the holy courts.

On this reading, there is a tension between God’s promise and the ongoing reality of life and the chapter is a challenge and reminder to God to be true to God’s promise.

To Ponder:

  • In this passage the speaker might be God or another. Which seems most appropriate to you?
  •  Have there been moments when you have felt let down by God?
  •  Have you ever felt it appropriate to challenge God, or at the very least to remind God of God’s promise? What did you do?
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