Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Back to God's perfect default

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 35:1-10

TO CHEW ON: “A highway shall be there and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for other…
But the redeemed shall walk there.” Isaiah 35:8,9

Glorious Chapter 35 of Isaiah falls at the end of Part One of Isaiah—a section titled in my Bible “Prophecy of Denunciation and Invitation.” It is definitely an invitation—a chapter of “Joy and Blessing to God’s People” - New Spirit Filled Life Bible - Introduction to Isaiah.

In it, nature has a party. The desert and the wilderness bloom. They take on the characteristics of the area’s beauty spots of Lebanon, Carmel and Sharon (Isaiah 35:1,2). It’s a time doctors are no longer needed, for the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the mute talk (Isaiah 35:5,6). Everything that is desolate comes alive (Isaiah 35:7). And there is a broad way back to God (Isaiah 35:8-10).

What stands out for me is a snippet from verse 9. After listing who will not walk on that highway (nothing unclean, no hungry wild beasts) is a statement of who will “But the redeemed shall walk there.” I like how the NIV shades it: “But only the redeemed walk there.”

[Redeemed - gawal: Ransom, redeem, repurchase, to set free by avenging or repaying. Refers to the custom of buying back something a person has lost through helplessness, poverty or violence… The biblical view of redemption is extremely wide for God has pledged to redeem the whole creation, which currently groans in bondage” - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 935.]

That’s what I see here—a redeemed creation (humans included) bought back and reset to the default of God’s original creation perfection.

This passage is for me an expression of longing and faith, the “already / not yet” that we live in, knowing Christ has already redeemed all by His death, but not yet seeing the completion of that redemption in real time. May it be soon!

PRAYER: Dear Father, I long for the day when these things come to pass. May it be soon. Until then, help me to be Your faithful servant in this fallen world, helping others find their way to You. Amen.
MORE: Feast of St. Luke

Today the church celebrates the Feast of St. Luke the physician and gospel writer. The day’s liturgy begins with this Collect prayer:

Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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