Dread Becomes Glory
Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful that You are my loving Father, and that nothing can ever change that.
Read Isaiah 4:2-6
 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.  Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.  The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.  Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy.  It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat good news is there after God's judgment?
As a student standing nervously outside the principal’s office, you fear the worst. There’s bound to be trouble! If you have ever expected the worst, only to be surprised to find, rather, that it’s the best of news, you’ll understand how the hearers of Isaiah’s prophecy felt. “On that day ….” Oh, we know what that’s all about: utter destruction, from which we try to hide in vain under the nearest rock, in the deepest cave! (See also 2:6-21 and Thursday’s study.) The wonderful surprise is that “that day” has in store not only destruction but also restoration. Those who are left will be purified, made holy, made glorious. The Lord who guided his people in the wilderness by cloud and fiery pillar to the land of promise will now protect them the same way. When coming to the God of holiness and justice, we might fear the worst: his anger as he turns his back on us, leaving us abandoned to our fate. Yet what we find is utterly extraordinary: like the prodigal son being greeted by the unexpected love of his father, God washes away our filth, calls us holy and shelters us from scorching sun and drenching storm.
How has God surprised you with his unexpected or undeserved goodness? Recall some way and thank him for it.
Thank You for saving me, protecting me and calling me Your own, dear Lord. May I never take it for granted.
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