Lord of all, I thank You that Your eyes are always on Your people and You always hear our prayers.
Read Isaiah 48:12-22
 “Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.  My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.  “Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? The LORD’s chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians.  I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.  “Come near me and listen to this: “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, endowed with his Spirit.  This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.  If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.  Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me.”  Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.”  They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.  “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat did the Jews in exile lose for ignoring the Lord?
We now discover the heart of sinfulness in God’s people–they have stopped listening to him. They have stubbornly followed their own ways, they have failed to listen to God and so have not grasped that God’s plan of action to rescue them from Babylon will include a pagan king (14; see also Isa. 45:1). The thrust of this whole chapter is that we must listen to God because we cannot second-guess him! He will always surprise us. His grace to us is shown in how eager he is to reveal things to us–Isaiah is prophesying things here that will not happen for about 300 years! God wants us to know about him, about his plans, his promises, his character. He wants us to know about life and how to live it well (17). Every day we face the question: “Will I look to God to learn how to live my life today?” When we stop listening to God we shut ourselves out from his peace (18). God’s plans for his people back then were for their good. They were plans for fruitfulness (19), yet they stubbornly refused to listen and the chapter ends on a sad and solemn note.
Ask God to help you pay more attention to him and to deepen your trust that he knows how to live your life better than you do.
Lord Jesus, teach me to pray as You taught Your disciples. I need Your power to really change things in me in a big way.
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