The Anger Continues
Continue praying with thanks to God for the gift of Jesus and what it has meant to your life.
Read Isaiah 9:8-17
 The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel.  All the people will know it- Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria- who say with pride and arrogance of heart,  “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.”  But the LORD has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them and has spurred their enemies on.  Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.  But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought the LORD Almighty.  So the LORD will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day;  the elders and dignitaries are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.  Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.  Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will he pity the fatherless and widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks folly. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised. 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 is the very, very bad news in these verses (12,17)?
Growing up on the coast, I loved to plant my feet firmly on the edge of the sea and gaze down as the incoming waves washed over them. As the water receded, I had the odd sensation of going backwards. I have that kind of feeling today as I look at this passage. Yesterday’s reading reached a crescendo of hope and promise. Today, we are back to God’s anger, not once but repeatedly (12,17)! The picture is of God with his arm raised against his people. But why is God so angry? It’s because the people don’t see their need of him. In their arrogance they think they can do far better without God (9,10), so they place their trust in human leaders who inevitably lead them in the wrong direction. In the end, everyone suffers (16,17). Beware. It is possible even for Christians to claim that God is lord of our lives, and yet to live as though we can manage perfectly well without him, thank you very much. Sometimes the new confidence that we find in God is what can also turn into independence from God.
Think about how you spent Christmas Day. Did you feel God close to you as you celebrated the birth of Jesus?
Help me, God, to learn my need of You again today. Keep me aware of my dependence on You.