Friday, August 14, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, August 14, 2020

https://classic.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-semicontinuous/2020/08/14?version=KJV

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, August 14, 2020
Psalm 133; Genesis 41:37-57; Acts 14:19-28
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)
(Semicontinuous Reading Plan)

How good it is to live in unity
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Joseph’s rise to power
41:37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.

48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.

50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.

51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

God opens the door to Gentiles
14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.

25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

The Daily Lectionary is a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, August 14, 2020
Psalm 133; Genesis 41:37-57; Acts 14:19-28

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, August 14, 2020

https://biblegateway.christianbook.com/common-prayer-liturgy-for-ordinary-radicals/shane-claiborne/9780310326199/pd/326199
The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, August 14, 2020

Maximilian Kolbe (1894 — 1941)

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who provided shelter for thousands of Jews in his friary and was an active voice against the Nazi violence. He was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned at Auschwitz. When a fellow prisoner escaped from the camp, the Nazis selected ten other prisoners to be killed in reprisal. As they were lined up to die, one of the ten began to cry, “My wife! My children! I will never see them again!” At this, Maximilian stepped forward and asked to die in his place. His request was granted, and he led the other men in song and prayer as they awaited their deaths. Maximilian had also lived in Japan and founded a monastery on the outskirts of Nagasaki. Four years after his martyrdom, on August 9, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, but his monastery miraculously survived. Maximilian’s feast day, when Christians around the world celebrate his life and sainthood as a hero of the church, falls one week after Nagasaki Day. Each year, we spend the week reflecting on the best and the worst that human beings are capable of.

Maximilian Kolbe had this to say: “These Nazis will not kill our souls, since we prisoners certainly distinguish ourselves quite definitely from our tormentors; they will not be able to deprive us of the dignity of our Catholic belief. We will not give up. And when we die, then we die pure and peaceful, resigned to God in our hearts.”

Lord, we know that you often answer our prayers in mysterious and stunning ways. Make us sensitive to your Spirit that we might recognize your gentle nudge. And help us cultivate lives that are always ready to respond to your call. Form us into people who are truly ready to become the change we want to see. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, August 14, 2020

https://classic.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2020/08/14?version=KJV

Revelation 3:14, 20
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Read all of Revelation 3

Listen to Revelation 3

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

LHM Daily Devotions — Permission to Love Yourself

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200814

"Permission to Love Yourself"

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.

Just about every friend I have is on a diet right now. Even the neighborhood kids aren't eating as many Twinkies, for some reason. I don't know about you, but I feel absolutely starved while watching TV ads for pepperoni pizza, extra-moist desserts, and old-fashioned lemonade. More often than not though, the TV turns right around and makes me feel fat and guilty by touting diet plans and exercise machines.

If all of us were satisfied with ourselves, it probably wouldn't take long until diet products passed out of our lives forever. But most of us are not satisfied with ourselves. Maybe it's because all kinds of people are only too glad to tell us what we're doing wrong. Sometimes the advice is free. Often we pay $14.95 for the privilege of reading a book listing our faults and telling us how to get rid of our hang-ups.

"Assert yourself!" "Vegetarians have more fun!" "Learn to say no!" "Learn to say yes!" "Jog your way to nirvana for fun and profit!" Yep, we've heard them all before, more than a few hundred times.

Are you satisfied with yourself? I hope so, because God made only one of you. You are very precious to Him. "What you are is God's gift to you," as the modern proverb goes, and God's gifts are always worthwhile (see James 1:17).

The adage ends, of course, with "What you make of yourself is your gift to God." While our culture is fixated on outward appearances, I seem to have a case of terminal acne. I may not exit adolescence until I'm 40. If we let ourselves become paralyzed by society's demands though, we won't have much time to work on making ourselves gifts to God.

Loving yourself doesn't mean "anything goes," and letting yourself go with it. Setting goals for both the short and long term helps me assert self-discipline and makes for better days ahead. Also, in deciding upon goals, it's good to keep in mind that God sees not as man sees. As it is written in 1 Samuel: "For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7b).

What would you like your life to be like? Do you love yourself enough to make change possible? Jesus calls us to Himself, so we can live our best life possible. He has told us, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (John 10:10b-11).

By Jesus' loving work on my behalf—living, dying, and rising from the grave to new life—He has made all who trust in Him by faith victorious over life, with all its demands and expectations. Jesus loves me, and because He loves me, I can love me, too.

Heavenly Father, we are all made in Your image. Teach us to love ourselves, even when we feel unlovely. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Jane Fryar

Reflection Questions:
1. Has your image of self changed since pandemic restrictions have begun?

2. How does God keep us blameless until the coming of Jesus?

3. How do you try to be the best you can be for God?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved.
Has your image of self changed since pandemic restrictions have begun?

Standing Strong Through the Storm — SELFLESSNESS

https://classic.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2020/08/14
SELFLESSNESS

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Brother Andrew loves to tell this parable from the Middle East:

A certain man had two sons. One was rich and the other was poor. The rich son had no children while the poor son was blessed with many sons and many daughters. In time, the father fell ill. He was sure he would not live through the week, so on Saturday he called his sons to his side and gave each of them half of his land for their inheritance. Then he died. Before sundown the sons buried their father with respect.

That night the rich son could not sleep. He said to himself, “What my father did was not just. I am rich and my brother is poor. I have plenty of bread while my brother’s children eat one day and trust God for the next. I must move the landmark which our father has set in the middle of the land so that my brother will have the greater share. Ah—but he must not see me; if he sees me, he will be shamed. I must arise early in the morning before it is dawn and move the landmark!” With this he fell asleep and his sleep was secure and peaceful.

Meanwhile, the poor brother could not sleep. As he lay restless on his bed, he said to himself, “What my father did was not just. Here I am surrounded by the joy of many sons and daughters while my brother daily faces the shame of having no sons to carry on his name and no daughters to comfort him in his old age. He should have the land of our fathers. Perhaps this will in part compensate him for his indescribable poverty. Ah—but if I give it to him, he will be shamed. I must awake early in the morning before it is dawn and move the landmark which our father has set!” With this he went to sleep and his sleep was secure and peaceful.

On the first day of the week—very early in the morning, a long time before it was day, the two brothers met at the ancient land marker.

They fell with tears into each other’s arms. And on that spot was built the New Jerusalem.

RESPONSE: Today I will focus on the needs and interests of others rather than on my own.

PRAYER: Pray that this biblical attitude of love, humility and selflessness will pervade the church of Jesus Christ in the Middle East today and around the world.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Men of the Bible — Isaiah

https://classic.biblegateway.com/devotionals/men-of-the-bible/2020/08/14
Isaiah

His name means: "The Lord Has Saved"

His work: An eighth-century BC prophet, Isaiah's message was primarily directed toward Judah and Jerusalem, warning God's people of coming judgment on their sins.
His character: He was a learned man of principle and integrity and of deep humility.
His sorrow: Isaiah was grieved that God's people were unwilling to repent.
His triumph: Isaiah had a vision of God that profoundly shaped his long prophetic ministry.
Key Scriptures: Isaiah 6

A Look at the Man

The people noticed the difference in Isaiah. Rumor had spread that he had seen a vision in the temple that day. No one knew exactly what—or whom—he had seen, but whatever had happened, Isaiah was a changed man.

What Isaiah had experienced in the temple was one of history's most profound commissioning ceremonies, and because of its power, Isaiah's course was changed like a flood tearing down a riverbank.

Isaiah had grown up on the right side of the tracks. His family was from the royal tribe of Judah. His pedigree and command of the language marked his stature and his message. After the vision in the temple, for almost sixty years his assignment included ministry in the courts of the kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. So naturally Isaiah might have been tempted to place himself above the people to whom he preached. But because of the temple visitation, the preacher never forgot that he too was counted among the sinners. Just because he had been gifted and called to deliver God's message didn't excuse him from the need for repentance.

Isaiah had witnessed something very few mortals have seen before his time or since. He was allowed the privilege of seeing a glimpse of God's glory. The experience tore away any shroud of pride that may have covered him, replacing it with a sense of wonder and humility. It was as though the living God was saying to the prophet, "Don't forget who you're talking about, Isaiah. Never forget whom you serve."

And there was the searing heat of the burning ember. Why couldn't God have just told me of my forgiveness? Why the coal? Why this pain? Isaiah must have wondered over the succeeding weeks as the scabs on his lips slowly healed. But God had a purpose in this, too. He wanted Isaiah to remember the pain of repentance, the agony of confession. And he touched the part of Isaiah's body that he was using to represent the Holy One of Israel: his mouth. No doubt it was several weeks, perhaps months, before Isaiah could speak without physical pain. God's mission had been perfectly accomplished.

And now Isaiah's message of the people's sinfulness included the promise of redemption in the coming of the Savior: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

The sparkle in Isaiah's eyes didn't come from a strident preacher who delighted in shouting condemnation, but in the words of deliverance through the Son of God who would come to save the people from their sins—including the sins of the woeful prophet.

Reflect On: Isaiah 25:1–5
Praise God: For his sovereignty and power, for his mercy and his grace.
Offer Thanks: For calling us to repentance and for providing a Savior.
Confess: Our casual attitude about being in his holy presence in worship and our cavalier attitude about our own sin.
Ask God: To give you a glimpse of his glory—an understanding of what Isaiah must have experienced that day in the temple. Tell him that you’re willing to be sent, to be his ambassador, his mouthpiece.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
An eighth-century BC prophet, Isaiah's message was primarily directed toward Judah and Jerusalem, warning God's people of coming judgment on their sins.

John Piper Devotional — God Forgives and Is Still Fair

https://classic.biblegateway.com/devotionals/john-piper-devotional/2020/08/14
God Forgives and Is Still Fair

The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.

This is outrageous. Uriah is dead. Bathsheba is raped. The baby will die. And Nathan says, “The Lord has put away your sin.”

Just like that? David committed adultery. He ordered murder. He lied. He “despised the word of the Lord.” He “scorned God.” And the Lord “put away [his] sin.”

What kind of a righteous judge is God? You don’t just pass over rape and murder and lying. Righteous judges don’t do that.

Here is what Paul said in Romans 3:25–26:
God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
In other words, the outrage that we feel when God seems to simply pass over David’s sin would be good outrage if God were simply sweeping David’s sin under the rug. He is not.

God sees from the time of David down the centuries to the death of his Son, Jesus Christ, who would die in David’s place, so that David’s faith in God’s mercy and God’s future redeeming work unites David with Christ. And in God’s all-knowing mind, David’s sins are counted as Christ’s sins and Christ’s righteousness is counted as his righteousness, and God justly passes over David’s sin.

The death of the Son of God is outrageous enough, and the glory of God that it upholds is great enough, that God is vindicated in passing over David’s adultery and murder and lying.

And so God maintains his perfect righteousness and justice while at the same time showing mercy to those who have faith in Jesus, no matter how many or how monstrous their sins. This is good news.
God maintains his perfect righteousness and justice while at the same time showing mercy to those who have faith in Jesus.

Un dia a la Vez — Recojamos los estragos (segunda parte)

https://classic.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2020/08/14
Recojamos los estragos (segunda parte)

En su angustia clamaron al Señor, y él los salvó de su aflicción. Los sacó de las sombras tenebrosas y rompió en pedazos sus cadenas.

En estos días estamos reflexionando acerca de las cosas negativas que les permitimos llegar a nuestra vida y a las que les llamo «vientos». Quizá esto se deba a que, por estar en temporada de huracanes, deseara establecer el paralelo con nuestra vida.

Muchos de esos impactos que vivimos los ocasionamos nosotros mismos. Tomamos malas decisiones, no escuchamos a tiempo los consejos y hacemos lo que bien nos parece. En algunos casos, esto nos lleva a quedar literalmente en «zona de desastre». Entonces, una vez más, el nombre de Dios viene a nuestros labios y pensamientos. Volvemos a orar con tanta intensidad como no lo hacíamos por mucho tiempo. Después nos arrepentimos y le pedimos a Dios una nueva oportunidad.

La buena noticia es que nuestro Padre siempre está dispuesto a recibirnos y a recogernos, así sea que estemos hecho pedazos o que seamos solo escombros. Con su infinita misericordia nos empieza a sanar y a reconstruir hasta dejarnos una vez más en pie.

Lo más importante de todo, mis queridos amigos, es que aunque Dios nos perdona y olvida nuestras faltas, siempre viviremos las consecuencias de nuestros actos.

Por favor, que no se nos olvide el dolor por el que pasamos y de dónde nos sacó Dios.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En estos días estamos reflexionando acerca de las cosas negativas que les permitimos llegar a nuestra vida y a las que les llamo «vientos». Quizá esto se deba a que, por estar en temporada de huracanes, deseara establecer el paralelo con nuestra vida.

Devocional CPTLN del 14 de agosto de 2020 — Permiso para amarte


ALIMENTO DIARIO
Permiso para amarte

Que el mismo Dios de paz los santifique por completo; y que guarde irreprensible todo su ser, espíritu, alma y cuerpo, para la venida de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Aquel que los llama es fiel, y cumplirá todo esto.

Casi todos los amigos que tengo están a dieta en este momento. No sé cómo es contigo, pero a mí me da hambre cuando veo los anuncios de pizza y helados en la televisión... pero también me siento gorda y culpable cuando veo los anuncios promocionando planes de dieta y aparatos para hacer ejercicio.

Si estuviéramos satisfechos con nosotros mismos, probablemente no pasaría mucho tiempo hasta que los productos dietéticos desaparecieran para siempre. Pero la mayoría de nosotros no estamos satisfechos con nosotros mismos. Tal vez sea porque son muchas las personas a quienes les alegra decirnos qué estamos haciendo mal. A veces el consejo es gratis, pero a menudo pagamos $14.95 por el privilegio de leer un libro que enumera nuestras fallas y nos dice cómo deshacernos de nuestros problemas.

"¡Tú vales!" "¡Los vegetarianos se divierten más!" "¡Aprende a decir no!" "¡Aprende a decir sí!" "¡Ábrete camino hacia la diversión y el éxito!" Sí, los hemos escuchado antes, más de unos cientos de veces.

¿Estás satisfecho contigo mismo? Eso espero, porque Dios solo hizo uno como tú y para él eres muy valioso. "Lo que eres es el regalo de Dios para ti", dice el proverbio moderno, y los regalos de Dios siempre valen la pena (ver Santiago 1:17). El proverbio termina diciendo: "Lo que haces de ti mismo es tu regalo a Dios". Sin embargo, si nos dejamos paralizar por las demandas de la sociedad, no tendremos mucho tiempo para trabajar en hacernos regalos para Dios.

Amarte a ti mismo no significa que "todo vale". Establecer objetivos a corto y largo plazo ayuda a afirmar la autodisciplina y a tener mejores días por delante. Además, al decidir los objetivos, es bueno tener en cuenta que Dios no ve como el hombre ve. Como está escrito en 1 Samuel: "Yo soy el Señor, y veo más allá de lo que el hombre ve. El hombre mira lo que está delante de sus ojos, pero yo miro el corazón" (1 Samuel 16:7b).

¿Cómo te gustaría que fuera tu vida? ¿Te amas lo suficiente como para hacer posible el cambio? Jesús nos llama a sí mismo para que podamos vivir de la mejor manera posible. Él nos dijo: "Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia. Yo soy el buen pastor; el buen pastor da su vida por las ovejas" (Juan 10:10b-11).

Por el amoroso trabajo de Jesús en mi nombre, viviendo, muriendo y resucitando de la tumba a una vida nueva, él ha hecho que todos los que confían en él por fe sean victoriosos sobre la vida, con todas sus demandas y expectativas. Jesús te ama, y porque él te ama, tú también puedes amarte.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, todos estamos hechos a tu imagen. Enséñanos a amarnos a nosotros mismos, incluso cuando nos sintamos mal. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Jane Fryar

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Ha cambiado tu imagen de ti mismo desde que comenzaron las restricciones por la pandemia?

* ¿Qué haces para tratar de ser lo mejor que puedes ser para Dios?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Ha cambiado tu imagen de ti mismo desde que comenzaron las restricciones por la pandemia?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Hy Vọng Chớm Nở

https://vietnamese-odb.org/2020/08/14/hy-vong-chom-no/

Hy Vọng Chớm Nở

Đọc: Ê-sai 35:1-4 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 89-90; Rô-ma 14

Đồng hoang sẽ mừng rỡ và trổ hoa như hoa thủy tiên.
— Ê-sai 35:1

Tại thành phố Philadelphia, khi những bãi đất trống đầy cỏ được dọn dẹp và trở nên tươi sáng với hoa và cây cảnh, thì đời sống tinh thần của những cư dân gần đó cũng vui tươi hơn. Điều này đặc biệt đúng với những ai đang gặp khó khăn về kinh tế.

Tiến sĩ Eugenia South cho biết: “Ngày càng có nhiều bằng chứng cho thấy không gian xanh có thể tác động đến sức khỏe tinh thần, và điều đó đặc biệt đúng với những người sống trong các khu dân cư nghèo”. Tiến sĩ South, thành viên của Trường Y Khoa Perelman thuộc Đại Học Pennsylvania, là đồng tác giả của bản nghiên cứu về đề tài này.

Những người Giu-đa và Y-sơ-ra-ên bị áp bức đã tìm thấy niềm hy vọng tươi mới qua khải tượng của tiên tri Ê-sai về sự phục hồi đẹp đẽ mà Chúa dành cho họ. Giữa mọi lời kết tội và phán xét mà Ê-sai đã báo trước, thì lời hứa tươi sáng này thật chắc chắn: “Đồng hoang sẽ mừng rỡ và trổ hoa như hoa thủy tiên. Nó sẽ trổ nhiều hoa và vui mừng, hớn hở trỗi tiếng hát ca” (Ês. 35:1-2).

Cho dù hoàn cảnh hiện giờ có ra sao, chúng ta cũng có thể vui mừng bởi những cách đẹp đẽ mà Cha Thiên Thượng đã dùng để phục hồi trong chúng ta niềm hy vọng tươi mới, kể cả qua tạo vật của Ngài. Khi cảm thấy chán nản, việc suy ngẫm về sự vinh hiển của Ngài sẽ nâng đỡ chúng ta. Ê-sai khích lệ: “Hãy làm cho mạnh mẽ những bàn tay yếu ớt, làm cho vững vàng những đầu gối run rẩy!” (c.3).

Liệu một vài bông hoa có thể nhen lại niềm hy vọng trong chúng ta không? Một vị tiên tri đã nói là có. Và Đức Chúa Trời – Đấng ban hy vọng cho chúng ta cũng phán như vậy.
Khi thấy tuyệt vọng, bạn thường phản ứng như thế nào? Việc dành thời gian ở bên ngoài với tạo vật của Chúa có thể biến nỗi tuyệt vọng của bạn thành hy vọng tươi mới trong Chúa như thế nào?
Lạy Chúa, cảm ơn Ngài vì công trình sáng tạo uy nghi cho con thấy được sự vinh hiển của Chúa, và làm sống lại trong con niềm hy vọng nơi Ngài.


Chú Giải

Ê-sai 34 và 35 tóm tắt về sự đoán phạt và ban phước được mô tả ở nửa đầu của sách. Chương 34 mô tả sự đoán phạt “mọi nước” (c.1-2), sau đó tập trung vào dân Ê-đôm (c.5), kẻ thù của dân Y-sơ-ra-ên, là đại diện cho tất cả các dân tộc. Hai chương được kết nối bằng lời cảnh báo về sự báo thù của Đức Chúa Trời “vì cớ Si-ôn” (34:8) và để giải cứu Si-ôn (35:4). Sự phục hồi Y-sơ-ra-ên, hoặc Si-ôn, được mô tả là liên quan đến việc khôi phục đất đai và con người. Hoang mạc và đất khô sẽ nở hoa (c.1), dân Y-sơ-ra-ên sẽ được chữa lành (c.5-6), được an toàn (c.7, 9) và tràn ngập niềm vui (c.10).

Julie Schwab

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