DAY 1 • DECEMBER 13
“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people.”
Have you ever felt attracted to God and repulsed by him at the same time? Maybe you wanted to get closer to God, but you were afraid you didn’t measure up. You convinced yourself that he was upset with you, like you owed him money and couldn’t pay. That’s a little like what’s going on in this passage. Isaiah starts by inviting God, almost begging him, to show up. At the same time, he’s very aware of just how unfaithful the people of Israel have been to a God who only ever loved them. It seems there’s no way for his people to make it right. However, with the simple word “yet,” Isaiah pivots. He presents God as a good father who looks on rebellious Israel as his children. The “look on us” phrase implies kindness and mercy. What good father doesn’t love his children? What wouldn’t such a father do to reconcile with them? Isaiah reflects God’s heart, which is always inclined towards reconciliation more than punishment, so much so that he sends his beloved Son to create a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
Praise God that his fatherly love extends to you. Thank him that he sent Jesus to you. Thank God for the specific ways he has been like a Father in your life.
Sit in silence before God and ask the Spirit to share with you how God feels about you, Ask him to remind you of specific things you may have heard or read in the Bible that express God’s reconciling heart towards you.
Ask God to help you reconcile a relationship (or relationships) that you know are broken. It might be with a friend, a spouse, a child, a co-worker, or maybe even your relationship with God. Take him at his word that he loves you and wants to see life and love in your connection with him and with others.
What can you do to help reconcile any broken relationships you have in your life? It might be sending a text, making a call, or just praying. What can you do today to restore the relationship?
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