A Biblical text for our time

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Here is a text from Scripture for those afflicted by or afraid of storms (as yet another hurricane, Maria, heads towards Puerto Rico), terrorism, tyranny, disgrace, loneliness, abandonment, apostasy, personal attacks, and other troubles of our time.  And it also speaks of vocation.

From Isaiah 54:

4“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.

Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youth

and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

5For your Maker is your husband—

the Lord Almighty is his name—

the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;

he is called the God of all the earth.

6The Lord will call you back

as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—

a wife who married young,

only to be rejected,” says your God.

7“For a brief moment I abandoned you,

but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

8In a surge of anger

I hid my face from you for a moment,

but with everlasting kindness

I will have compassion on you,”

says the Lord your Redeemer.

9“To me this is like the days of Noah,

when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.

So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,

never to rebuke you again.

10Though the mountains be shaken

and the hills be removed,

yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken

nor my covenant of peace be removed,”

says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,

I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,a

your foundations with lapis lazuli.

12I will make your battlements of rubies,

your gates of sparkling jewels,

and all your walls of precious stones.

13All your children will be taught by the Lord,

and great will be their peace.

14In righteousness you will be established:

Tyranny will be far from you;

you will have nothing to fear.

Terror will be far removed;

it will not come near you.

15If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;

whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

16“See, it is I who created the blacksmith

who fans the coals into flame

and forges a weapon fit for its work.

And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;

17no weapon forged against you will prevail,

and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

and this is their vindication from me.”

Photo by StockSnap, Pixabay, CC0, Creative Commons

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