Friday, August 09, 2013

130809 - Engraved in the palms of His hands....

S: Isaiah 49-50

O: God is lifting up the head of Israel and giving them hope after their humiliation. We are leading up to some very familiar passages, and the Lord's Word to them is getting them ready for a tremendous destiny. "my Lord has forgotten me," they say, because by this time they know that "I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity" and that God's recompense to them is just. It's not enough that they'll go back out of captivity and proclaim His faithfulness to their own tribes, He will make them (and specifically Christ, Luke 2:32) a light to the nations, to the end of the earth. Though they have been deeply despised and abhorred, in showing God's faithfulness to the nations, they will be honored as well.

A: There's a point at which self-doubt and depression over a humiliation becomes crippling and hinders faith and vision. That makes me complicit against myself. Eleanor Roosavelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Only Christ Himself sees with true objectivity: though having a tongue to teach, He also has an awakened ear, and is not rebellious. Though He suffered disgrace (Isa. 50:6), He is not, ultimately, disgraced. (Isa. 50:7) Though He suffered a shameful death (Heb. 12:2), He is not put to shame. (Isa. 50:7) Instead, He is vindicated and who can content with Him? Although, like Christ, we may suffer humiliation, to believe we are without hope is to believe our Redeemer's arm is too short to save. Though our critics' voices may resonate with the true record of the prosecution, the sentence has already been carried out, and our Judge will not forget that crucial truth. It has been engraved in the palms of His hands. (Isa. 49:18)

P: Father, forgive me of the sin of receiving too uncritically the critical voices and their predictions. Though every charge against me has merit, you still say, "this is a brand plucked out of the fire" and will conform me to the image of your dear Son.

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