Friday after Exaudi
Scripture: Isaiah 32:9-20 (NKJV)
32:9 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 people of Judah had grown complacent. They were no longer producing the fruits of righteousness. They no longer lived for the Lord, but were caught up in enjoying the pleasures of this life. Isaiah warns them that all this will soon be wiped out. He was referring to the future destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity. He pleads with them to repent, but even the repentance of the few would not prevent the impending destruction.
The renewal of the people of God wouldn’t take place “until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high”—another prophecy of Pentecost. The powerful preaching of repentance and the forgiveness of sins that the people of Jerusalem heard on that day would spark a true renewal in the hearts of God’s people. The Spirit’s fire would produce true repentance and faith, followed by true fruits of righteousness. Faith in Christ would produce works of love. Complacency toward God and neighbor would be replaced by zeal for God and genuine concern for the neighbor. Jerusalem itself would remain in a state of upheaval after Pentecost, but God’s people would live in peace with God and with one another, in spite of the earthly conditions around them.
The prophet’s warning against complacency still applies, because Christians, too, can get caught up in earthly pleasures and the luxuries that surround us. Stay focused on Christ, and walk with the Spirit, so that you may continue to produce His blessed fruits, promoting true justice, godly peace, and the holy name of Jesus Christ.
We pray: Grant us Your Holy Spirit, O Lord, and turn our hearts ever to Your word, that we may escape the entanglements of this life and come into the perfect peace of eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.