Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16 - My Heart Laments

Today's Reading:
Isaiah 15:1-18:7
1 Peter 2:11-3:7
Psalm 139:17-24
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Isaiah 16:9-13
9 So I weep, as Jazer weeps, for the vines of Sibmah. O Heshbon, O Elealeh, I drench you with tears! The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled. 10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting. 11 My heart laments for Moab like a harp, my inmost being for Kir Hareseth. 12 When Moab appears at her high place, she only wears herself out; when she goes to her shrine to pray, it is to no avail. 13 This is the word the LORD has already spoken concerning Moab.

Even as Isaiah prophesied God's judgment against Moab and Damascus, he stressed God's love and grace. There was weeping in the streets and homes of these nations because of the corrective discipline God laid upon them, but there was also weeping in heaven as God grieved over these people.

God wanted to redeem and renew them. He took no joy in their suffering. He grieved as they turned to idols and prayed to false gods who were powerless to help them. God's hand of discipline was upon them because he loved them and desired what was best and true for them.

Response and Action:
I am committed to seeking God and living in truth. I will weep over the things that grieve God. I will remember that God loves and disciplines his children. Though it may bring tears, I will accept his hand of discipline as a blessing—a severe mercy—of being his child. I trust that God's judgment and discipline will result in renewal and righteousness for me. I will humble myself before God so that he can lift me up.

O God, you are a loving father. Your heart is touched and you weep for me when I hurt myself by turning away from you. Thank you for loving me enough to discipline and correct me. Your discipline and correction never seems pleasant at the time, but I trust that you are lovingly working for my good. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Hebrews 12:10-11
10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 

Never Beyond Hope: How God Touches and Uses Imperfect People
by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom

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