Isaiah 51:1-2, 5-6 - "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him. ... My righteousness draws near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for Me, and for My arm they wait. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will never be dismayed.
God gives us a strange direction today. He says, "You who seek the Lord ... look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you."
All right, I think. I'll do that. I'll probably find a great role model to learn from. So I turn to their story, and what do I find? A mess, that's what. Sure, Abraham and Sarah followed God's command to leave their home behind and move to a land far away, waiting faithfully for Him to keep His promises to them. That's great. But I also find a man who passed off his wife as his sister, putting her in danger, all because he was afraid of the locals. I find a woman who used her servant's body to get a baby, and then treated that woman badly. I find a couple who had the usual mix of good and evil, obedience to God and—well, the exact opposite. Am I supposed to imitate these people?
But I've missed the point. That isn't what God is asking us to look at. In the very next line of Isaiah He makes the point clear: "for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him." Pay attention to Abraham and Sarah, God says, because of what I did with them—because of my choosing and blessing and saving—that is the thing you should notice. That is what you should seek for yourselves, and put your full confidence in. My choosing and My blessing make all the difference.
It's the same for us too, isn't it? We are mixtures of good and evil just as Sarah and Abraham were. We have done nothing to merit attention—at least positive attention!
But that's no longer important. God has set His choice on us. He has called us out of the crowd and said, "You will be Mine. For you I will be born as a human being; I will live and serve and suffer and die. I will take away your guilt and your evil from you, because I choose to do so, and I will pay the price. And I will rise from the dead, and share with you My joyful, everlasting life. You are Mine—chosen, blessed, saved."
This is how much God has loved you, and will love you always. Who else could you share this good news with?
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You for choosing us to be Your own through Your own gracious love. Please bring many more to faith in Your Son Jesus. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What Bible character do you most admire, and why?
2. Did he or she have a serious flaw you know of? How do you feel about that?
3. What does it mean to you, that God knows all your flaws and chooses and loves you anyway?
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