Now for the Good News
As you prepare to meet with God, you could use Moses’ prayer: “Now show me Your glory” (Exod. 33:18).
Read Isaiah 44:1-8
 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.  This is what the LORD says- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.  For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.  They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.  Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and will take the name Israel.  “This is what the LORD says- Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.  Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come- yes, let them foretell what will come.  Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” 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.
ReflectHow does God describe himself here?
This lengthy exchange between God and his people has played out as a courtroom drama. Each side has summoned witnesses (43:9) and made their case. The conclusion of the trial was never in doubt. Israel is guilty as charged: disobedient, rebellious and unfaithful. The nation’s history has been a litany of sin (43:25-28). Yet just at the point where the sentence should be delivered, the word “but” intervenes (44:1; cf. 43:1). Instead of punishment, there’s grace. At the very moment that Israel’s guilt is most exposed, God speaks with great tenderness and mercy. This is Israel’s equivalent to the embrace of the prodigal son’s father (Luke 15:20). It reveals the heart of God. God calls Israel Jeshurun (“upright one,” verse 2), despite all that Israel has been. The Lord’s commitment to his chosen servant is undiminished; he will revive his people, pouring out his Spirit like water on parched ground (3). His blessing will spread to future generations and those who are not part of the people of God. This gracious, wise God is incomparable, a rock of stability in the face of his people’s fickleness (8).
Receive again the generous mercy of God, which enables us to acknowledge our sin, but still have hope.
I praise You, Incomparable Lord. What a gracious, merciful God You are to me and all Your people!
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