Archive for November 1st, 2017

Ancient Jerusalem

Isaiah 44: Remember This

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We have spent nearly a month reflecting with Ezra and Nehemiah, discovering the blessings that can rise from disaster and loss, considering the benefit of rebuilding a relationship that appears forever gone. Today we examine how the action of one we believe to be our enemy can bring us opportunities for transformation and rebirth.

The prophet Isaiah brings us the familiar words of the Lord.

“Israel, remember this;
    remember that you are my servant.
I created you to be my servant,
    and I will never forget you.
I have swept your sins away like a cloud.
    Come back to me; I am the one who saves you.”

A people who suffers exile because they had turned away from God, hear that the Lord still longs for their return. And the people respond.

Shout for joy, you heavens!
    Shout, deep places of the earth!
Shout for joy, mountains, and every tree of the forest!
The Lord has shown his greatness
    by saving his people Israel.

The Lord then tells the people that their enemy Cyrus will be the instrument of their liberation.

I say to Cyrus, “You are the one who will rule for me;
    you will do what I want you to do:
    you will order that Jerusalem be rebuilt
    and that the foundations of the Temple be laid.”

When we remember the stories of old, do we also remember the ironies they hold? When we think about the stories of our future, do we open our hearts to the ironies that await us? When we reflect on the story we live in the present, do we remember that God is always with us, calling us home to rebuild what we believe is lost.

These verses are taken from The Good News Bible. When we explore multiple translations of these words, we find new ways to remember.

To learn more about the story of Ezra and Nehemiah, click on the image of Jerusalem above or visit: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/ezra-nehemiah/ 

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