Dust To Dust
Heavenly Father, reveal Yourself to me today through Your Word. Show me what You see in my life.
Read Isaiah 5:22–30
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
and champions at mixing drinks,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.
24 Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw
and as dry grass sinks down in the flames,
so their roots will decay
and their flowers blow away like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty
and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people;
his hand is raised and he strikes them down.
The mountains shake,
and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.
26 He lifts up a banner for the distant nations,
he whistles for those at the ends of the earth.
Here they come,
swiftly and speedily!
27 Not one of them grows tired or stumbles,
not one slumbers or sleeps;
not a belt is loosened at the waist,
not a sandal strap is broken.
28 Their arrows are sharp,
all their bows are strung;
their horses’ hooves seem like flint,
their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
29 Their roar is like that of the lion,
they roar like young lions;
they growl as they seize their prey
and carry it off with no one to rescue.
30 In that day they will roar over it
like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks at the land,
there is only darkness and distress;
even the sun will be darkened by clouds.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Father-like he tends and spares us… In his hands he gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes” (Henry Francis Lyte, 1793–1847).
Yesterday we read about people who appear on the surface to be flourishing, but today we see that their lives are rooted in rottenness (24). Then, as now, success built on anything but the word “of the Holy One of Israel” (24) might seem pretty as a flower but only lasts about as long as it takes dead petals to fall. The only way to leave an eternal legacy is by submitting our choices, dreams and skills to the Lord.
From a human perspective, we can probably identify with Israel’s desperate attempts to form alliances that offered some protection amid the brutal politics of the ancient world. Our leaders do it today. However, Israel should have turned instead to the One who has ultimate power over all nations (26). He is going to use other nations, some of them former friends, as tools to deliver his judgment. It is a tragic irony that godless nations could be dressed and ready to do the Lord’s bidding at a moment’s notice, while his own people are still in their spiritual pajamas (27).
When tempted to make expedient choices about who to ask for help—at a national, business, family or individual level—let us put God first, and practicalities second.
Take a quiet moment to identify where you are most drawn to rely on your smarts, your plans, your effort or your will to carry you.
Lord, give me wisdom to live a godly, surrendered, quiet life in a fallen world that needs You.
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