One hundred days down!
Have you noticed? Has it struck you yet, now that you're nearly one hundred days into this challenge? That sometimes - many times, I find - the Word of God is enough, all by itself?
This week we will finish the writings of the Weeping Prophet as well as those of Isaiah, and even while so much hopelessness and despair seems to cover the pages of our Bibles, God's character continues to shine as a beacon of joy, a constant guiding light in the midst of shifting circumstances.
He is still good.
"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend your money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David. Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, and a nation which knows you not will run to you, because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you."
Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the LORD, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off."
I don't want to do an exposition on this chapter - I just wanted to type it out, every word, by hand, as part of my own meditation on and marination in the amazing truth of His mercy. If you've never really "meditated" on Scripture (I know that word has a bad rap), I urge you to try it. Unlike the introspective/New Age style of meditation that is coming back into vogue right now, which is highly self-centric, we meditate on the Word by letting God's truth empty us of lies.
Usually, I meditate on Scripture just by reading it over and over, often aloud, and then writing it out by hand. Sometimes I make notes in the margins of my Bible. Usually, I am moved to prayer of thanksgiving for who my God is and who I am because of Him.
His mercy is free for the taking. He is accessible - I can find Him NOW. He is eager to abundantly pardon anyone who chooses to surrender - even the ones who have hurt Him deeply, which is why the phrase "My thoughts are not your thoughts" is so incredibly powerful. God doesn't treat His people - myself included - like another human would.
And His Word is alive and powerful. It is His obedient Servant to accomplish exactly what He desires.
This chapter reminds me that there is no doubt of my salvation or His sovereignty.
Hallelujah! Of course I will "go out with joy and be led forth with peace" - there is simply no other reasonable response!
Lamentations: God of Faithfulness
Genre: Prophetic Wisdom/Lament
Total read time: 30 minutes