Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 8, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-12 (NKJV)
64:1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
2 as fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!
3 When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—in these ways we continue; And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.
9 Do not be furious, O Lord, nor remember iniquity forever; Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
10 Your holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple, where our fathers praised You, is burned up with fire; And all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O Lord? Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?
How often our prayers begin as Isaiah’s does! “If only God would come down with wrath for our enemies!”
Perhaps we have holier thoughts, remembering that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness: “If only God would come down and destroy not the people, but the people’s delusion!”
Holier still, if we remember that the condition of our flesh is as Isaiah confesses, with “all our righteousnesses” being “as filthy rags,” so that we must judge ourselves as “an unclean thing” if we look at our own works and power: “If only all that troubles and afflicts us would be purged away as if with fire! If only God would remove my sin from me in such a way that I would sin no more and need no more purging!”
The people fade like a leaf because they cannot see the works of the Lord, and even the place of His presence—the Temple—is gone. Isaiah, though, confesses “But now, O Yahweh, you are our Father!” and that he and his brethren are the clay; the Potter may mold them in His way and timing, while they must trust that He intends this all for their good.
We pray: We thank You, Lord, that we may always trust that, “as a tender father hath pity on his children here, Thou in Thine arms will gather all who are Thine in childlike fear,” and that, for the sake of Christ, You will preserve us and give us peace until You bring our sin and our affliction to the end that He has already won for us, and given to us through the forgiveness of our sins, even life and salvation. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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