Wednesday after Exaudi
Scripture: Isaiah 66:10-24 (NKJV)
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.” “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.
12 For thus says the Lord:
13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
14 When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like grass; The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies.
15 For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by His sword the Lord will judge all flesh; And the slain of the Lord shall be many.
17 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” says the Lord.
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 20 Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. 21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.
24 “And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Throughout the Old Testament God promised to extend peace to His people. This peace is given to His people to comfort them. This is not a worldly peace, but an inner peace from God, received by faith in His Word. From Adam and Eve in Genesis to Malachi, the promise of God-given peace is entwined with the promise to send a Redeemer to save God’s people from the curse brought on mankind through sin.
In John 14:27, Jesus, the fulfillment of all these Old Testament promises, says to His Church, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” In this world we can find many things to take away our peace, but Jesus’ promise of peace is an inner peace that nothing can take away.
With the Church we confess: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.” In this God-given faith we do indeed have peace—peace with God to all eternity.
We pray: Almighty, Everlasting God, make us to have always a devout will toward Thee and to serve Thy Majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.