To This I Will Appeal

My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all…

Talking to God about God

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us—yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. (Isaiah 63:7) Isaiah is about to make some bold requests of God (starting in 63:15), but before he gets there, he tells of God’s kindnesses, mighty deeds, and compassion. God sympathizes with his people when they…

Meaningless Habits

“The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.” (Isaiah 1:11-13) If you were…

The Danger of Forgetting

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; 10 they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. (Psalm 78:9-11) The men of Ephraim—that is, the tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel—fall into grave idolatry. So completely do they abandon God’s covenant (verse 10) that God delivers them into the hands of Assyria. In contrast to the…

Meditations (4 of 4)

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending some time with a group of high school students on our annual retreat. As a community we devoted a good portion of our time to silent meditation on four verses from the Holy Scriptures. Here are some reflections springing from that time of meditation.   Fourth Meditation: 1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has…

Meditations (3 of 4)

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending some time with a group of high school students on our annual retreat. As a community we devoted a good portion of our time to silent meditation on four verses from the Holy Scriptures. Here are some reflections springing from that time of meditation.   Third Meditation: Colossians 1:22 “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in…

Meditations (2 of 4)

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending some time with a group of high school students on our annual retreat. As a community we devoted a good portion of our time to silent meditation on four verses from the Holy Scriptures. Here are some reflections springing from that time of meditation.   Second Meditation: James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be…

Meditations (1 of 4)

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending some time with a group of high school students on our annual retreat. As a community we devoted a good portion of our time to silent meditation on four verses from the Holy Scriptures. Here are some reflections springing from that time of meditation.   First Meditation: Isaiah 48:17 “This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your…