e hënë, 18 shkurt 2008

Isaiah 30:1-7

Passage: Isaiah 30:1-7
Do Not Go Down to Egypt.
1 "Ah, stubborn children," declares the LORD, "who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;
2 who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
4 For though his officials are at Zoan and his envoys reach Hanes,
5 everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace." 6 An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb. Through a land of trouble and anguish, from where come the lioness and the lion, the adder and the flying fiery serpent, they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people that cannot profit them.
7 Egypt’s help is worthless and empty; therefore I have called her "Rahab who sits still."

Note: Well, you likely noticed that the Daily Journal has been missing for a couple of weeks. The simple answer is that my crew has had the flu - all nine of us. Jill, Vera and [especially] Emma are still down. I fought through mine over about a 10 day period, so it doesn't come and go very easily. It's good to be only coughing occasionally these days . . .

Journal: Judah is being her short-sighted self. It is the protection of Egypt that is alluring her, as the Assyrian aggression is at her front door. It is somewhat ironic that she turns to the same Egypt that God brought to its knees to give the Jewish nation freedom from bondage -- it is a conquest that is the subject of Jewish law, poetry and music. Yet, she eschews the stronger [God Himself] for the weaker [a pagan nation with horses and chariots].

Judah's thought process is like a clogged sink. God is using Assyria to discipline Judah for its unfaithfulness. The point of God's rebuke is for His people to turn to Him and to trust Him. He offers Himself as protection from His discipline. Yet Judah, full of pride, wants to trust that which she can see and touch. It is chariots, horsemen, pyramids, Pharaoh - these things represent power and protection. On the other hand, God seems to be out there somewhere busy with whatever God does. It is like a teenager that gets his car keys taken away because his parents think he is running with the wrong crowd. His solution is to have the wrong crowd come by and pick him up since he is stranded. The point of the discipline is lost to the practicality of the circumstance.

We, as children of God, travel this road often. The practicality of the circumstance leads to foolish rebellion - a business ethic is ignored in the stress of the moment; a moral stand is not taken in certain circles for acceptance expedience; laziness overcomes a teaching moment with a child because of the fatigue of the day. It is easy to "turn to Egypt," as "Assyria" is at our front door. Yet, it is the flesh that is weak, and we are weak ambassadors of Christ as we are mired in the flesh of the moment. [". . . everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace."]

Heard 'Round the House:
Instead of a "Heard 'Round the House" moment today, I would like to pass along a prayer request from a good friend of mine - Alan Smith. Alan was a fraternity pledge brother of mine in college and remains a wonderful friend. He and his wife Michelle just had a baby girl that needs our prayers. I pass along the email from Alan below and ask you to lift up this family today . . .

"We have a baby girl! Michelle has not decided on the name yet. Michelle is doing very well and is in recovery. The baby weighs 4 lbs 7 oz and is in pretty good shape. This was a C-section about 6 weeks early due to some complications that developed. She is anemic and they are preparing to give her a blood transfusion in a couple of hours at Texas Childrens - this place is awesome. She is fairly stable but need your prayers through the night and next several days. This is a very critical time for her as they hope to stabilize her tonight and go through all her organ functions tomorrow. We will know more then. Thanks for all the prayers that you guys have offered up to the Lord so far. God is good and is in control of all things. We trust in Him greatly as always during this time. Update you further tomorrow. If I missed anyone, pls feel free to forward on. Thanks -Alan"