Breathe in clear thoughts of peace and reflection as you prepare to hear God speak to you through the scripture and the writer. Put aside all the things the world says you have to accomplish today and use this time to rest in God’s presence.
Isaiah 59:1-8 (NRSV)
See, the LORD’s hand is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
Rather, your iniquities have been barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one brings suit justly,
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs,
and weave the spider’s web;
whoever eats their eggs dies,
and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.
Their webs cannot serve as clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
and they rush to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their paths.
Their roads they have made crooked;
no one who walks in them knows peace.
When you spell LIVE backwards you get EVIL, which is exactly what was going on with the Jewish people. They had chosen to live backward from what God had commanded. Verse 7 says “their feet run to evil.” The same is true for us today. We not only choose evil lifestyles, we run toward them. If verse 2 were the only picture of God that we had, we would only experience despair and hopelessness. But it was never God’s desire to destroy us, for God always had a plan for redemption.
Sin separates and isolates us from the love of God. Because God is holy, our sin cannot be tolerated or ignored. In our prayer life we can talk, praise, and petition God, but we should never forget to confess our sin as well. We are to live in a way that honors God, and to obey God’s will.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart today; try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me; cleanse me from every sin and set me free.” Amen.
(Words by J. Edwin Orr adapted from Psalm 139:23)
Go with God.