Scripture: from verse 17
Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
and instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
instead of stones, iron.
Observation: In the wake of 9/11, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn pointed out that at least two leaders quoted from Isaiah 9:10, swearing to rebuild stronger than ever. This was a rather foolish thing to do, as Isaiah 9 is about people who ignore the Lord’s warnings and rely on their own strength to rebuild.
But here, God is promising a similar rebuilding. The rebellious leaders promised to replace fig trees with cedars; God promises to replace wood with bronze. They were going to replace brick with dressed stone; God promises to replace stone with iron.
The difference, of course, if that God is the source of this new strength. We can try to create our own strength, using the best ideas and materials available to us, but our efforts will never work as well as if we’d relied on God in the first place. His ways are higher than ours. His Spirit can amplify our strength in ways we would never have predicted.
Application: Rely on His strength, now your own
Prayer: Father of Light, I praise you because everything that has been made was made by you and for your purposes. I praise you because you created this world and allowed me to play in it, like a child in a sandbox. Thank you for taking delight in the castles I create. Help me to rely on you to accomplish what I cannot. Amen.
Scripture: verses 5 and 6
On that day, Adonai–Tzva’ot [Lord of Hosts]
will be a glorious crown, a brilliant diadem
for the remnant of his people.
He will also be a spirit of justice
for whoever sits as a judge,
and a source of strength for those
repelling enemy attacks at the gate.
Observation: God is beauty and glory and wealth for the people who have turned to Him after lots of war and hardship and desolation. They have no dignity left, so He is their dignity for them. At the same time, He is also Justice and Wisdom for those who are making hard decisions, and Strength for those who are fighting a hard fight.
In other words, when we turn to Him, He is exactly what we need.
He is rest when we are tired and wisdom when we are confused and direction when we are lost and beauty and interest when we are bored. We tend to assume that God is good at fixing a certain set of problems, but that for some things we’re on our own. But just because God is propping up the entire universe doesn’t mean He can’t also take the time to help me figure out how to teach my daughters to share their toys. (Not that I’ve succeeded in that one, but I think we’re getting better. At least a bit.)
Praying about everything isn’t a cop-out. It isn’t a way of dodging the real issue or hiding my head in the sand. (Well, I suppose it might be, if I’m also avoiding doing what I know I’m supposed to do.) It’s the best and most reliable course of action. For everything.
Application: What haven’t you asked Him about yet?
Prayer: Yeshua, I praise you because you are everything to everyone. Your identity is not limited to one set of attributes or problems. Thank you for providing for all of my needs. Help me to see where I haven’t asked for help yet, and to turn to you. Amen.