Prayer for the day
Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim. In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up your strength and come to help us, Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
Scripture for the day
As we read through the scriptures, sometimes the word of the Lord seems harsh and overbearing. Often we have difficulty reconciling the God of love who has captured our hearts and lives with the God of the First Testament who seems angry and vengeful.
The difficulty we face is not a difficulty in the nature of God but a difficulty in the nature of our perception of God. We believe that because love looks a certain way to us, it must trump any of God’s other attributes, or at least God’s attributes must conform to our understanding of them. We believe that we know what love looks like, or justice, or mercy, and so if God does not conform to our knowledge, it must be God who is in the wrong.
In both of the passages today, God’s declaration comes into view. God declares doom on different countries, and God declares glory for the one who was to come, the priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
The God who decrees and declares these things is the same God, and His declarations are righteous, just, and good. If we are to believe in and trust this God, it is important for us to understand that a decree from God is a decree from Truth, a decree that is directly in line with the truth of God, and a decree that is, despite our protestations to the contrary, for the best.
Whether God is decreeing doom for a time or for all time, whether God is decreeing the law or an unending priesthood, His decree is good, and that goodness ought to elicit thanksgiving from us.
May you hear His decree and rejoice.