Scripture: verse 22
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Observation: This verse comes immediately after a mocking description of idolatry: a man might cut down a tree, use half the wood to cook his dinner, and carve the other half into a statue, which he worships as his god. It defies all logic (not to mention the laws of thermodynamics) to think that we can be rescued by the works of our own hands, and yet, time and time again, that is exactly what we believe.
And then God calls for Israel to return to Him. Israel is not His people because they did not worship idols. Israel was just a stupid as everyone else, and tried over and over to create its own deliverance. But God redeemed them. The difference is not that they never sinned, but that God erased their sin.
And today we do the same thing. We may not worship wooden idols, but we put our faith and our hope in our careers or our families or money or education or other things that we know are made by humans and therefore fallible. And time and time again, God wipes away our sin and calls us back to Him.
I can’t fix myself. No matter how organized and assertive and pro-active and educated I am, everything that I do comes from me. Which means it will be exactly as broken or as whole as I am. Only God can come from the outside and make me whole.
Application: God is calling. Let Him in.
Prayer: Father, I praise you because you defy the laws of thermodynamics. I praise you because you are not subject to entropy. I praise you because you are always bigger than yourself, because you can draw on your own might to fix all of creation. Thank you for redeeming me. Help me to hope in you. Amen.