Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after Judica

Posted on April 12, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 66:1-12 (NKJV)

66:1 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.

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;

11 That you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”

12 For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; On her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees.”


Who is the Judge? “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.” How shall I be pleasing to Him? “He who burns incense is as if he blesses an idol” and “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man.”

The works of the Law cannot suffice. Even the prescribed offering of a bull might as well be the shedding of a man’s blood, Isaiah tells us. For that crime, God says in Genesis 9:6, a man-killer’s blood would be shed, because such is not merely an attack upon the creature, but upon the image of God.
By now declaring this equivalence between offering a bull and killing a man, God declares the offering of an animal sacrifice without the proper disposition and discernment (1 Cor. 11:26-32) to be an attack on the image of God, as well.

Why so high a designation for killing an animal that Scripture does not list as being made in the image of God? Because every such sacrifice was to be understood as pointing to the sacrificing of Him who is “the brightness of [God’s] glory and the express image of His person,” the Son through whom He “has in these last days spoken to us” (Heb.1:2-3).

What can save us if even doing the works of the Law falls short before Him? “On this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My Word.”

We pray: Thank You, O Father, for looking upon me with favor, having made me tremble at Your commandments so that, in my lowly and sorrowful state, I look for exaltation only through forgiveness in Your Son’s fulfillment of the Law in my place. Amen.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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