Friday after Exaudi
Scripture: Isaiah 32:9-20 (NKJV)
9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; You complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.
10 In a year and some days you will be troubled, you complacent women; For the vintage will fail, the gathering will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease; Be troubled, you complacent ones; Strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, and gird sackcloth on your waists.
12 People shall mourn upon their breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
13 On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers, yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city;
14 Because the palaces will be forsaken, the bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks—
15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
19 Though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation.
20 Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.
The Book of Isaiah was written about 700 B.C. Through Isaiah God warns His people that if they continue in their sin, Jerusalem will be destroyed. Even the most cursory study of the Old Testament reveals that the people of God, Israel, seldom did what His spokesmen, the prophets, revealed to them. Through the prophets God revealed His will. He encouraged the people to be faithful to Him, but from the hardness of their hearts they ignored Him, rejected the prophets, and often killed them.
Today the book of Isaiah is still a warning to us. But God is still faithful. He still wants His chosen people to listen to His Word. In Matthew 28 the risen Christ says to His Church through the apostles, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with always.”
We know by God’s Law that we, like Old Testament Israel, are guilty of grave sin, but by the Gospel we know that we have been made new people—God’s people who listen to God’s shepherd calling us with His Word. We come for confession, absolution, the nourishment of His Word and of the Lord’s Supper. We come and in His grace and mercy He forgives, renews, and strengthens us through His means of grace—Word and Sacrament. By grace He keeps us faithful, and brings us to our eternal home in Heaven in His own time.
We pray: Almighty, everlasting God, make us to have always a devout will toward Thee and to serve Thy Majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.