Today’s devotion is written by Deacon Karen Katamay
Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away. – Isaiah 46:12-13
I had to smile a bit when I read this passage. Can’t we all be a little stubborn-hearted at times? This passage ties in so well with Pastor Dan’s message on Sunday about Noah, and what was happening in the world at that time. The people were sinful and stubborn-hearted, turning away from God and God’s righteousness. God had every right to give up on the human race, but he provided a way for the human race and creation to survive through Noah and his family and all the animals on the ark.
Today we can be just as stubborn-hearted as the people back then. We know exactly what God should do, so why doesn’t he do it? Why doesn’t he just speak the words or wave his hand and make the coronavirus go away? Why doesn’t he bring an end to all the violence in the world, and solve all the world’s problems for us? Shouldn’t our will be God’s will, too? Yes, we are a stubborn people, thinking we know better than God about everything. And that includes me at times, too.
But no matter how stubborn or self-righteous we are, God always gives us a way back, bringing his righteousness and salvation near to us through Jesus. We only have to read the Bible to know through what Jesus taught us that God and God’s kingdom are near. We have to trust that God understands our suffering and our pain and is with us through all of this. He sighs when we sigh, and weeps when we weep, and surrounds us with his comfort and grace. And we know that when God is by our side, and works with us and through us, that every little thing we do to make this world a better place and to ease the sufferings of others helps God’s kingdom draw a little bit closer. Yes, God’s righteousness is not far away, it’s here. You only have to believe!
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. – Titus 2:11