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June 25: Isaiah 57
Deuteronomy 30; Psalm 119:73–96; Isaiah 57; Matthew 5
I write these words on June 24, 2022, the day that the American Supreme Court struck down the infamous Roe decision, which “found” a “right” to abortion in the United States Constitution. As Christians celebrate, but many others protest, I cannot think of a more appropriate text to preach to the world than this one.
There are two halves. Isaiah, speaking for God, first exposes Israel’s idolatry - the words of which aptly fit modern America. The righteous and devout are taken away, and no one gives it a second thought (1). Yet it’s the righteous who rest in peace (2), not the “offspring” of the sorceress, the whore and the loose woman (3). Today protesters rage and mock the ruling - but Who are they really mocking (4)?
God sees their lust, and how because of it they slaughter their children everywhere (5), having exposed themselves to whoever will have them (8). God sees it all, yet He holds back His wrath in mercy - for now (11). But not forever. He schedules a reckoning (12). What will these idols of lust profit them then (13)?
God is God; He is high and lofty and holy and pure (15a). Yet He also dwells with lowly, with those who are contrite in heart - who see their error, and mourn it, and run to Him for forgiveness and cleansing. As with the Prodigal Son, so when God sees their contrition from a distance, He runs to them, with comfort, peace and healing (18-19).
Today we celebrate. Tomorrow we get back to preaching this good news.