Now and Then

Day 274

Prayer for the day

God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of the ram’s-horn. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth; sing praises with all your skill. God reigns over the nations; God sits upon his holy throne.

Scripture for the day

Isaiah 11-13, Ephesians 4

Have you ever waited for something? I mean, REALLY waited for something. There have been times when I’ve ordered things for birthdays or Christmas, and the sense of anxiety, the sense of panic, was almost palpable.

God, through Isaiah, gave the people of Israel something to truly wait for. He spoke to the people about a time that was coming when things would be different. He spoke of a time when they would experience things like peace, love, and rest. He promised these things but didn’t give a timeline for when they would come about.

The promises then had the effect of causing the people anxiety. WHEN would this promised peace come? WHEN would they find love and rest from toil and frustration? Isaiah doesn’t answer these questions, and the people are understandably anxious.

When Paul speaks to the church at Ephesus, he tells them that regardless of not knowing the time of the fulfillment of the promise, the people of God were to begin enacting the promise themselves. They were not to simply rest on their laurels, waiting for the peace of God to magically appear; they were supposed to work toward the promise through the power God had given them via the Holy Spirit. They were to work toward peace (with themselves first), toward love, toward rest, and in doing these things, they would be enacting the promise of God. In a sense, they would be working with God to bring the promise of Heaven to earth. They would be, now, working toward then.

Let us join them in their work.

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