Perfect Faithfulness

I have been reading through Isaiah lately and am really enjoying it. Though I admit to being completely baffled by some of the curses and judgements found in so many of the chapters! I persisted through many of these chapters to come to a hopeful section. I am glad I persisted 🙂

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago […] You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat […] The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. – Isaiah 25:1,4,8

The phrase “perfect faithfulness” really stood out to me. A book I was reading today on the subway was summarizing the book of Hosea in showing how God woos his people back into relationship by bringing them through the valleys so that they can be rid of their independence and sinful ways. As the people turn their back on the Lord, the Lord continues to woo, to reach out to them, to love them. I think we see that in Isaiah here. Just a couple of chapters back, we hear “The Lord Almighty planned it, to bring down her pride in all her splendor, and to humble all who are renowned on the earth” (Isaiah 23:9). But God’s faithfulness remains. Perfect faithfulness. In the midst of judgement and the humbling of the proud, he loves his people through this time. Reminds me of a Steve Bell song:

Judge for yourself how great is the one/ Who lives in God – whose God is love/ Like an iron when left in embers bright/ Everything if fire – everything is light […] Burning ember/ I remember Love’s first light in me/ I was cold then/ Like a stone when I saw your flickering/ Oh what beauty as You drew near me/ I could scarcely speak/ Somehow I knew/ I would be new in your glowing. – Burning Ember

Everything if fire – everything is light. In the midst of judgement and fire, there is light, a reminder of God’s presence in the burning ember. A reminder that he will make me new in His glowing.

Last night I wrote about reaching a place of tears and pain again in my life, where my tears fill, as Bruce Cockburn says, the whole night sky. And today’s reading of Scripture promises a day when God will not only see my tears but wipe them away. Oh what beauty as God draws near me.

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