Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. Isaiah 9:1-4 (NLT)
Lectionary texts: Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1-9, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 4:12-23
As I begin a new week, I read through the Scriptures for this week and I look forward to reading these four passages several times. The passages speak God’s truth softly yet firmly, “I love you, Jody. I love you.”
Isaiah 9. The time of darkness and despair will not last forever. How often I have walked through a valley with long, dark shadows and thought that the sun would never shine again in my world. Th way out of the valley seemed long and difficult, maybe even impossible.
God isn’t just present on top of mountains. He promised He would never leave me. He promised He would never sleep or doze and so leave me to walk alone. God’s promises are true.
Psalm 27. God is light. There is no hidden corners in God; no locked doors hiding unexpected retribution for my failings. God knows everything about me and still loves me. In fact His love for me isn’t a response but it is always the instigator. God loved me first when I was dead in my sin. He saw the potential of me. And by His power I am becoming what He made me to be.
1 Corinthians 1. “I love you!” “God has overcome sin and death.” One of the most horrific forms of execution in history is also a symbol of God’s abiding love. Yes, that might be seen as foolish to those who are blind to God’s power and love. But God also has a plan to use you and me to carry the message of Good News with the power of His Holy Spirit. Amazing!
Matthew 4. Jesus reveals God’s Plan A: Use His children to tell each other the Good News of the Cross; share His Way to Eternal Life. (And there was no Plan B!) And God’s plan is working! I may not understand God’s way just like I don’t understand how a hummingbird works. But I can testify that my life has been forever changed and I can point to a hummingbird as he flies by.
God loves me. It is a mystery as to why He does but it is a warm cloak that covers me in the cold that blows through my life here on this earth. God loves me more than I can comprehend but it is a wonderful lesson I am continuing to unfold very day.
God loves me.
You Know Better Than I written by David Campbell, sung by Dallyn Vail Bayles