Friday after Quasimodogeniti
Scripture: Isaiah 33:2-6 (NKJV)
2 O Lord, be gracious to us; We have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
3 At the noise of the tumult the people shall flee; When You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered;
4 And Your plunder shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar; As the running to and fro of locusts, He shall run upon them.
5 The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
6 Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure.
Isaiah’s prayer in verse 2—for God to be gracious to Israel so that by His Arm they are saved from trouble—comes to fulfillment with verses 3-4. St. Matthew records a Friday night earthquake (Matt. 27:51-53) and a Sunday morning earthquake (Matt. 28:2-4). The “noise” (Is. 43:3) of these tumultuous commotions at Christ’s death and resurrection announced the deliverance which the people sought. Sin, death and the devil were defeated. We know that “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matt. 27:52-53). The “plunder” of verse 4 is the gathering of the believers from among the Gentile nations so that they are brought into God’s Kingdom, the Church.
Although we tend to want specific deliverance from individual troubles, our Lord knows what is best. He provides a general victory over all troubles through the work of His Son. He provides forgiveness from sins so that we possess Christ’s righteousness. He gives faith, which was described in the Old Testament as “the fear of the Lord.” Through faith in Christ everything else to which we clung can pass away, we have Jesus as our treasure. No matter what trouble comes our way, we have the stability of Christ’s victory. His resurrection victory is our strength. Because He lives, I will not die but live.
We pray: O Risen Lord, our Arm every morning, strengthen our faith in You so that in the midst of the tumultuous changes of this life our life may have the stability of Your righteousness and justice. Amen.