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Thursday, February 18, 2010

2/19/10- Isaiah 35:1-4; "Hope in a Hopeless Land"

2/19- Isaiah 35:1-4

(desert blossoming in Israel)

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. 3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you."

Thoughts: The idea of the desert blooming here is the idea of the barren bearing fruit, the sick getting well, and the hopeless finding hope. This happens when God comes to us- we begin to blossom like a desert that is irrigated. Yesterday, a very visible form of the hopelessness of our age occurred.  A software engineer in Autin Texas burned his house, and flew his plane into a building that quaretered the local IRS office. He was complaining about the IRS taking "his pound of flesh", yet he had a house, and he had a plane.  Millions in Haiti have no house and no food, much less an airplane or house.  Yet this man had given up hope.  Maybe he was about to lose his airplane and house.  Maybe he was frustrated at his taxes.  He had given up hope, and saw violence as his only alternative.  A biology teacher did not get tenure and in a rampage she shoots three other biology professors.  We have high worldly expectations.  In a recession economic environment such expectations are more likely to be crushed than fulfilled.  Each day, each breath is a gift from God.  We came into this world naked, and we will go out of it naked.  We should not be overly enthralled with human power, money, or things- or when they are taken away by sickness, health, a bad economy, or limits of one kind or another- then we are left meaningless and hopeless.  We should hope beyond this world- in the eternal God.  God can turn our desert into a garden.  It takes faith to believe that.  We need that kind of faith and hope today. 

Prayer: Help me to be strong, O Lord, and to wait on your coming.

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