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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, July 4, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Isaiah 66:10–14

Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
    all you who mourn over her—
that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her consoling breast,
that you may drink deeply with delight
    from her glorious bosom.

For thus says the Lord:
I will extend prosperity to her like a river
    and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream,
and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm
    and bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
    so I will comfort you;
    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
    your bodies shall flourish like the grass,
and it shall be known that the power of the Lord is with his servants,
    and his indignation is against his enemies. NRSV)

This final chapter of the book of Isaiah was written on the heels of so much history and change for the Jewish people. The temple in Jerusalem had been rebuilt following their return from exile, and these prophecies were spoken to encourage current and future believers to rejoice, even after all they had suffered but also all they had overcome. God was with them, comforting them and providing for them. Yet at the same time, the prophecy came with warnings: do not be judgmental, materialistic, or lacking in humility.

The same is still true today. Wherever in the world we call our earthly “home” there has been historical strife and suffering and, in many cases, turmoil continues to this day. Whether it is related to our civil liberties, familial disagreements, or even divisions within our churches, just as God was with God’s people in biblical times, God continues to be with us today. There is nothing that we go through today that is “new” to God and that can’t be used for God’s divine purposes. We must continue to be faithful, humble, and compassionate and be careful to not unfairly judge others or think too highly of ourselves. God still loves, protects, and encourages us now, just as he did in the early church.

Lord, we thank you for all you have continued to do for your children throughout history and today. Help us to always reflect on how much you have loved us and to remember that the victory you gave your children upon rebuilding your temple is the same victory we can walk in today. Amen.

Written by Michelle Epps, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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