Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 7, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 63:7-19 (NKJV)
63:7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.
8 For He said, “Surely they are My people, children who will not lie.” So He became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them all the days of old.
10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.
11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying:
“Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them,
12 Who led them by the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name,
13 Who led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they might not stumble?”
14 As a beast goes down into the valley, and the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest, so You lead Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name.
15 Look down from heaven, and see from Your habitation, holy and glorious. Where are Your zeal and Your strength, the yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me? Are they restrained?
16 Doubtless You are our Father, though Abraham was ignorant of us, and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
17 O Lord, why have You made us stray from Your ways, and hardened our heart from Your fear? Return for Your servants’ sake, the tribes of Your inheritance.
18 Your holy people have possessed it but a little while; Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled, those who were never called by Your name.
It matters not whether our fathers in the faith—those saints who have gone on before us, whether in Scripture, the early history of the Church, the Reformation, or of our own family and parish—are mindful of us; God is our Father. While we see the saints under the altar praying in Revelation 6:9-11, it matters not whether they know the particulars of our lives, as that is not what makes prayer effective. If we pray for someone suffering from a kidney stone and it is found that they have bladder cancer that might be now sent into remission, it wasn’t our knowledge of the intricacies of their need that brought them healing—nor was it the medicine or surgery, in and of themselves—but the fact that our Father knew and blessed.
Isaiah confesses that the people have become like those who have never known the Lord’s merciful rule. He cries out to ask the Lord not to confirm this sinfulness further in them. He accuses the Lord, as it were, of treating them like the Egyptians, yet confesses that such could not be the case. It’s how Isaiah and the people he served felt, but he confesses that he knows that when God’s people feel such affliction, He suffers it with them. He confesses that they have grieved the Holy Spirit by their rebellion and deserve enmity from the Lord, but he looks to the glorious name of God—Our Redeemer from Everlasting—and cries out for that same remembrance as He had in the days of Moses.
We pray: “Doubtless, You are our Father,” so we who are afflicted are turned to You. God the Son, our great High Priest, was afflicted for us and has doubtless redeemed us. In Jesus’ name, hear and help, O Lord! Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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