because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful
I will proclaim your name for it is good.
Isaiah presents the case against Judah. He uses the epithets Sodom and Gomorrah. It helps to understand this passage if we realize that their sin was inhospitality rather than what seems more convenient to us to be against.
"Don't be like Sodom and Gomorrah," Isaiah tells them that the Lord is saying. "They pretended to worship me, but they neglected to do any true worship. What I require is not parading around in public but rather taking care of those who need care."
What good is our worship if we ignore God's concerns?
The Lord has specific suggestions: rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
We shouldn't comfort ourselves by saying that we don't sacrifice bulls in our sanctuaries anymore. These warnings are still relevant. What are our churches concerned about? How much time and money are we spending on ourselves and much effort are we putting into seeking what God considers justice?
The Lord gave and gives options: No matter how sinful you have been, you can repent and change. Building a world in which all have justice will result in a world in which you will benefit. Building a world in which many suffer will result in your having to live there too--a place of need and threat and fear.
Questions to consider as you read Chapter 2:
v1, What new thing have you seen--something that was totally unexpected?
Can you hope for something without working for it?
v2, What parallels do you see between the highest mountain and our places of worship?
v3, Why do we go to church?
v4, How important is the prophecy of peace for us? Do we think we are judged on basis of whether we are will to go to war?
v5, What does the phrase "walk in the light of the Lord" mean to you?
Is this passage from Isaiah about them and then, us now, or us someday?
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
The psalm addresses the powerful, "Why do you boast of the mischief you have done against the godly? God will see that you pay for what you have done."
And those who have been harmed but remained faithful to God will see the downfall of the mighty ones: "See, the one who would not take refuge in God, but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!"
Rich sure seems good to us much of the time, but the Psalms remind us that being rich is not satisfactory as a total goal. For one thing, it doesn't last. For another, seeking that goal at the expense of all others results in our loss of everything important.
Rather, than trust money, this Psalm reminds us to trust in God forever and forever and to thank God--publicly.
Do not be one of those who give pledges,
who become surety for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you.
Prayer for Today: O Lord our God, guide us into true worship, not parading around in public but rather taking care of those who need care. Remind us that you are our refuge so that we will trust you to take care of us in the future and be grateful for what you have done for us already. Amen.