Friday after Judica
Scripture: Isaiah 66:1-9 (NKJV)
1 Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?
2 For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.
3 “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck; He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood; He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol. Just as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations,
4 so will I choose their delusions, and bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.”
5 Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.”
6 The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, Who fully repays His enemies!
7 “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, she delivered a male child.
8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.
9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” Says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” Says your God.
Our text can be portrayed in the words of Jesus as He quotes Isaiah in Mark 7:6-7 saying, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
Such is the difference between those who hear and believe the Word of the Lord, receiving a poor and contrite spirit, and those who reject the Word of the Lord, whose souls delight in their abominations, and who practice evil in the sight of the Lord.
The Lord looks upon the faithful and the unfaithful, and speaks words of courage and contempt. To the faithless God promises to bring their worst fears on them, for when He called, no one answered; when He spoke they did not hear. As a result, they chose to do that which despises God. To the faithful our Lord encourages steadfastness, where the glory of the Lord is seen in their lives in front of those who have made them to be a mockery before men. Instead of revenge, show mercy and joy for all to see.
Today, God is reminding us that He is in charge; He will allow those who reject Him and His Word to reap their own condemnation. Having hearts strengthened through His grace and mercy, may the faithful only be concerned about advancing the Gospel, which gives new birth through the Church.
Let us pray: If my sins give me alarm and my conscience grieve me, let Thy cross my fear disarm, peace of conscience give me. Grant that I may trust in Thee and Thy holy Passion. If His Son so loveth me, God must have compassion. Amen.(TLH 140, vs. 5)