Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Where will our help come from? Our Old Testament reading for this week states clearly that salvation is of none other than God and that He will accomplish it all. In fact, God’s justice and salvation is nothing we would figure out on our own. He will give instruction and he will shed light on “the nations” with his justice, something they apparently have not known.Why have we waited so long? Redemption, enlightenment, justice - all seem far away. To us this makes no sense because we have God’s Word in the Bible, we have a long history of observing God at work, and we aren’t stupid, after all. So why has it not worked out?
You may have noticed that I deliberately left out an important part of the equation. In verse six we see that all creation, all that we can observe, will pass away, leaving only God’s salvation and righteousness. When God brings about instruction, justice, and enlightenment nothing outside of his righteous salvation will endure. This means that all our attempts at self-righteousness, self-enlightenment, human justice and instruction will pass away. They may be very good in this age and in this world but they are impernament. Only God’s work will last forever.
Where’s the good news in all this? It would be easy to walk away from the Scripture filled with a sort of earthly hopelessness. After all, if in the end it doesn’t matter what we have done in the earthly realm, maybe we wold do just as well by not bothering to try making improvements.
What we must remember is that in our daily walk we are part of God’s work of righteousness. As we look to the Lord, he speaks to us through his word, bringing enlightenment and a knowledge of true justice. We won’t be able to bring about God’s perfection in this life, that is something only he can do, but in a small way we can point forward to God’s coming kingdom. We can be God’s instruments, showing mercy, and helping our world to look forward to the day when God’s salvation will be visible plainly, when all else passes away. This is the hope and plea of the Christian, who has seen the beginning of God’s mercy in Jesus, who looks forward to his return.
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