Tag Archives: safety

Isaiah 54:9-10

Scripture: from verse 10

My covenant of peace shall not be removed

Observation:  The phrase “covenant of peace” is only used a few other times in the Bible.  In Numbers 25, God gave His covenant of peace to a priest named Phineas, in recognition of His dedication to preserving the righteousness of God’s people.  (Admittedly that dedication took the rather unusual form of killing two people while they were having sex, but that’s a discussion for another day.)  Phineas’ family would have a perpetual priesthood, because of the covenant of peace.  Israel is promised a covenant of peace in Ezekiel (chapters 34 and 37), which means that God will protect them in their land and they will live securely.  They will have peace with God, peace with the surrounding nations, and peace with their environment – even the wild animals will be kept back from them.

The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, and it encompasses much more than simple peace.  It includes health and wholeness and safety and friendship and restoration.  God has entered a covenant to give us those things, and His promise will not be shaken.

God recently gave me a new piece of shalom – He healed an old hurt I only recently realized existed.  The effects have been fascinating.  It might not appear dramatic, but I can tell that I’m more whole and better integrated than I was.  Yesterday I picked up a dozen things without feeling stressed or worried or compelled to keep working.  Today I made a phone call to customer service without worrying that I would say the wrong thing.  It wasn’t momentous, either – I can just do it now.  God wove the torn neural patterns back together.

Application:  Ask God to fix what isn’t whole

Prayer:  Lord, I praise you because you can see the whole of creation and you know how it is supposed to fit together.   I praise you because you can integrate all things seamlessly into your plan.  Thank you for giving us shalom.  Help me to come to you for help when I need it.  Amen.

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Isaiah 26

Scripture: from verse 8

The desire of all our soul
is to remember You and Your name.

Observation: …which is a bit ironic, really, since we don’t know God’s Name.  But that’s neither here nor there.

Hebrews 4 talks about how all God asked of the Israelites was that they trust Him (the verb used is often translated “obey” but the Greek says “trust” or “believe”), but they could not trust Him and were unable to enter His rest.

The problem with brains, of course, is that they forget about God.  No matter how many times God tells me that I am valuable and holy and protected, I still turn around and get insecure and guilty and scared.  When I forget God, I mostly get confused about life.  When I remember Him, then I remember where I am and where the world is in relation to Him, and everything sets itself straight.

Application: Remember His name, enter His rest.

Prayer:  Father, I praise you because you are the Proper Perspective through which I can see myself and my circumstances clearly.  Thank you for telling me who I am and who you are.  Help me to remember to trust you, even when life is scary and confusing.  Amen.

Isaiah 4

Scripture: from verses 4 and 5

When Adonai washes away the filth of the women of Tziyon…with a blast of searing judgment, Adonai will be over the whole site of Mount Tziyon and over those who assemble…for the Glory will be over everything like a hupah (wedding canopy and shelter).

Observation:  This chapter is only six verses, but it has some major mood whiplash going on.  It starts by describing the disgrace of the prideful women of Israel, and their desperation to hide from it, and then states that in that day Israel will suddenly be blooming and glorious.

The pattern repeats in this section – searing judgement followed closely by glory and love and protection.  But I think the key is that their filth is truly washed away this time.  Instead of insisting that they are still in the right, the pride of Israel is finally humbled and they are asking to be rescued.  God is happy to rescue us as soon as we call.

Francis Schaeffer pointed out that humans have spent the past millenia trying to figure out how to fix mankind, and concluded recently (in the 70s or so) that mankind either isn’t broken, or is supposed to be broken.  Modern society tends to say that humans are the way they are and that’s a good thing.

Humans are prideful and selfish and broken.  As soon as we recognize that, we can ask God for help.  As soon as we ask God for help, He covers us in His Glory and we are safe.

Application:  Ask for help.  Know you are broken.

Prayer: Father, I need your help.  I am not able to be good on my own.  Thank you for covering me.  Amen.

Ephesians 5:21-25

Scripture: from verse 23

…the Messiah, as head of the Messianic Community, is Himself the one who keeps the body safe.

Observation:  You may have noticed there’s some words I really like.  Rest.  Made perfect.  Light.  Safe.

I like safe.  I dealt with a lot of anxiety growing up (still do, a little) and safe was nice.  Safe meant not having to explain myself or defend myself.  Safe meant that I knew the rules, and they wouldn’t change on me or suddenly loom in my path.  (I’m still dealing with the realization, a few weeks ago, that the social guidelines I’d been taught for one particular situation were wrong and I may have badly hurt people in the past.  I don’t feel any guilt over it, as I didn’t know, it still makes me a little sad.)  Safe means I have answers, or know where to get answers, and if I ask questions people won’t look at me like I’m clueless.  (I probably am clueless, but I still don’t like that look!)  Safe means someone to take care of me and comfort me and make me tea.

And Messiah is keeping His body safe.  He protects His community.  He protects me.

Those who are paying attention will realize that this is in the middle of the whole hierarchical-marriage passage.  Personally I tend to ignore that debate, since each couple is different and different things seem to work for different couples – as long as both of them treat the other with sacrificial love, everything will be fine.

But while I don’t feel any particular onus to submit to my husband, a lot of people think that we have a hierarchical marriage.  The reason for that is that Hero and I keep each other safe.  There are a number of areas where one of us is better equipped to navigate than the other, and because we trust each other and respect each others’ strengths, we can allow each other to take the lead.  Hero’s strengths are a little more public-sphere than mine, so people think we have a hierarchical marriage.  But really we just do what’s safe.  Because it’s comfortable.

Messiah, on the other hand, has infinite knowledge and experience.  He isn’t just good at navigating odds and managing outcomes in uncertain situations – He actually knows what will happen.  He deserves our trust and respect in every area of life.  Because that’s how we stay safe.

Application:  Messiah is our safety.  Trust Him.  Doing what He says may not always be pleasant, but in the long run it is best for you.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for being there to keep me safe.  Thank you for providing what I need – right down to the cup of hot tea – exactly when you know I need it.  Help me to trust that you know what you’re doing.  Amen.