Daily Readings & Thought for July 1st. “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN PERISHES”
Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 13), (Isaiah 56,57), (Revelation 21,22)
Our chapter 57 in Isaiah commences with the above words – but then adds, “and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away … “ But then comes a very meaningful statement – which may well become really meaningful for us in the years ahead, it may even be in the months ahead, “for the righteous man (& woman) is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness”
Coming to v. 15, more words jump out to our minds, “… thus says the One who is high and lifted up. Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
In contrast, the chapter ends, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.” It is “my God”, our God who counts us, as righteous in his eyes. As we become more and more aware of the true picture of our present existence – and conscious of the increasing traumas in many parts of the world (and threatening or including ours) how wonderful it will be to be “taken away” – in whatever way God chooses, from the calamity that is starting to surround us. If it should be that “the righteous man perishes” – it is God who “lays it to heart”, such move into God’s time – which is instantaneous, there is no awareness of passing time at all.
Today’s 21st chapter of Revelation has a wondrous description of the ultimate time to come – when “the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Let us, from now on, live with this divinely given vision flooding ever more readily into our hearts every day.