June 26 – Isaiah 57

What a contrast of readings we find in this chapter! We start with some philosophy about life and death, with Isaiah reminding us that when a good person is taken home to Heaven early, it’s actually rather nice for them. They get to skip a lot of sorrows here below. I love how closely verse 2 mirrors our theme, “Walk This Way.” Here’s how it reads in the New Living Translation: “For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” Oh, the wisdom in following the godly paths! May we remember this. Contrast that with the last two verses in this chapter: “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked,” says my God.” If we want peace, we will choose the godly paths.

There are two distinct sections to this chapter. We hear God’s anger and disgust at a people who would slaughter their own children and worship idols they made themselves, choosing horrible sins over the peaceful life He offers. It’s harrowing, reading God’s words of grief, isn’t it? He wants so much for us to choose wisely for our own good and blessing. How frustrating to see people walk away from all that is good!

And yet, still He loves His wayward people. He calls them to repentance and woos them once again. Our God’s love is so big and so large and so unfathomable. Even when we deliberately make poor decisions, hurting others and ourselves and truly deserve to be punished and destroyed … even then He still wants us to turn to Him. He loves us. And it’s certainly not because we are so good and pure and wonderful. It’s because He made us fearfully and wonderfully, and He does not want to let us go. Let that sink into your soul and spend a moment in awed gratitude. Wow.

My verses: Isaiah 57:20-21 “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked,’ says my God.”

My response: To always be stirred up and restless, never satisfied, never peaceful – how terrible! Lord, thank You for this reminder of the wages of sin – there is no peace. And YOUR peace is so, so deeply rich and good. Help me to always choose that which is found only in You.

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