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God’s Word for You

Isaiah 25:2-5

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, February 21, 2008

Did you see it? Last night, between 8:00 and 10:00, the moon slowly disappeared into the shadow of the earth. The reddish disc reminded me of the way sin completely covers our lives. Everything we do is consumed by it, stained by it; eclipsed by it. Verse 2 brings us into the destruction of sinners who are lost in a sea of their own sin.

Lunar eclipse

2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
     the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more;
     it will never be rebuilt.

Job says something very similar about God: “What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released” (Job 12:14). But here the mention of the destruction causes mankind to fear God in another way: We respect him, we honor him, and we hold him in awe.

3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
     cities of ruthless nations will revere you.
4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
     a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm
     and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
     is like a storm driving against a wall
5 and like the heat of the desert.
     You silence the uproar of foreigners;
as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
     so the song of the ruthless is stilled. (NIV)

David had prayed: “I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm” (Psalm 55:8). The only shelter we have is God alone. Our salvation and our honor depend on God.

Later, Jeremiah would use some of Isaiah’s language in his longest chapter, a prophecy and a promise about the fall of Babylon: “The LORD will…silence her noisy din” (Jeremiah 51:55). And again, David prayed: “Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the noisy crowd of evildoers” (Psalm 64:2). God silences the roar of accusations against us, and he hides us in his living mercy.

So did you see it? Last night, between 10:00 and Midnight, the moon slowly rose out of the shadow of the earth. The reddish brown stain of the eclipse was removed, and tonight the moon will be it’s pure self once again—and tomorrow, and the night after that, and the night after that. Jesus has brought us out of the midnight stain of our sins, and he has brought us once again into the pure light of himself, God’s own Son, and we live in his forgiving light today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and always.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.