Daily Readings & Thought for June 7th. “COUNT IT ALL JOY … WHEN”
Today’s readings.. (Judges 2,3), (Isaiah 31), (James 1)
Once again God’s words through Isaiah attracted our thoughts. There are so many parallels today with the attitudes the LORD was seeking to counteract in Israel in the time of Isaiah. The message the prophet was to convey was, “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning (or repentance, mg) and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling …” [30 v.15]
In v. 18 this is repeated with added emphasis, “… the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
We see that the LORD’s words to the people through Isaiah have remarkable parallels in the words of Jesus – remember the invitations to the wedding banquet – and the poor response – see Matt 22 v.3 and John’s record of Jesus saying, “the Scriptures … bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me … you do not have the love of God within you.” [John 5 v.39-41] What would he say to you?
As we read each day – let us make sure we see the “witness” of the Scriptures. There are also some thought parallels in today’s final chapter in Hebrews, “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So that we can confidently say, the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” [v.5,6] Paul writes of the sacrifices we should make, to be content, to have no love of money. He reminds and stresses, our Lord sacrificed himself “in order to sanctify the people through his own blood” [v.12]
And then v.15 should jump out to attract our thoughts, “Through him then let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name … for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” [v.16] Let us make sure they are pleasing to us – and come genuinely from our hearts – a contrast to the noise and show in the Temple in the days of Isaiah, Jesus and Paul; learning that “in quietness and in trust shall be (y)our strength.”