The Lord Be With You Today!

Isaiah 65:2-5
All day long I have held out My Hands to an obstinate people,
(The Lord continues His answer to Isaiah’s prayer
and reveals the true picture of the people He loves
and to whom He has given Himself.
He has pleaded with them and done everything possible
to turn them away from their willful ways.
When we choose to walk in our own obstinate, disobedient self-will,
we turn away from the Lord’s outstretched Hand of life to us.)
who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—
a people who continually provoke Me to My very Face,
(Unthinking and oblivious, only absorbed in our own indulgences,
sure that we can walk in our own paths and still keep the Lord on our side,
we actually mock the very God Who lovingly calls us into relationship with Him,
blatantly and shamelessly provoking Him.)
offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick;
who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil;
(God’s people were worshiping at the altars of the world and of sin,
on altars of brick, a phrase that denotes
their own efforts at making themselves right with God,
and among the graves, denoting the worship of ancestors and spirits.
Today we still often choose to bow before the altars
of our own performance and other gods of the world.
We also worship at the altars of anger or unforgiveness
or materialism or name recognition and titles, or a host of other places
instead of the true worship of giving our lives completely and totally
to the One Who created us and loves us beyond measure
and Whose great delight in us and an abundant life are His gifts to us.)
who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of impure meat
(We flagrantly partake of the impure things of the world,
disobeying the Lord’s commandments,
charges He has pronounced over us to help us live
the kind of life of freedom and victory He has ordained for us.)
who say, ‘Keep away; don’t come near me, for I am too sacred for you!’
(And then we justify and rationalize our actions,
make our judgments about holiness based on outward measures,
become Pharisaical in our attitudes,
compare our own righteousness with what we can observe in others,
and declare that our righteousness far surpasses theirs.
By so doing, we elevate ourselves and release ourselves
from the Lord’s invitation to walk in humility with Him.)
Such people are smoke in My Nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day.
(Our attempts at righteousness not only are ineffective,
but also cause the Lord to look on us with holy anger and great displeasure.
Today we can thank God that He will not tolerate our disobedience,
that His holiness cannot dwell alongside our sinful ways,
and that He has provided the needed escape
from ourselves and into Him that only He can provide.
When we accept His salvation and forgiveness,
we are no longer separated from Him,
but embraced and made righteous by Him and in Him,
and He only sees the righteousness of His Own Son when He looks on us!)

May the Lord richly bless you this day!

In Christ’s love,

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