Isaiah 31 [Read]
Isaiah 32 [Read]
Isaiah 33 [Read]
Philippians 1 [Read]
Righteousness and love are two characters of God repeatedly conveyed by the Scripture, and it is interesting that today’s readings of OT and NT happen to touch upon both subjects. For Christians who have put on Christ upon our acceptance of Christ as our Savior and Lord, we must think about how to become witnesses of such characters in this world. Through meditating on today’s passage, we may hopefully understand more about how those characters work out in our Christian life.
“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isa 32:17). This saying is under the context of “a king will reign in righteousness” (32:1). He will bring judgment and justice to the kingdom, and he will correct the wrongs done by the wicked (32:3-8). Such hope for the coming of righteousness naturally brings peace, shalom, to the people of God, knowing that the ultimate justice is in the king’s hand. The effect of such internal peace is quietness and confidence, knowing that all things are working for the benefits of God’s people. Such understanding and hope become the source of strength for their journey of faith (30:15). With such strength, they may dwell peacefully, live with true security, and possess undisturbed rest in their heart (32:18). It’s indeed a peace that the world cannot give (Jn 14:27).
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” (Phi 1:9). Paul prayed for love in his beloved Philippians, but the things he asked God for them is surprising to me. He did not pray for God to increase their patience or gentleness or other qualities which commonly associated with our superficial understanding of love, things that are more from our heart. Instead, he prayed for knowledge and depth of insight, things from our mind. Knowledge means to understand the true meaning of God’s love, which is rooted in his covenantal faithfulness to his people. Depth of insight means to be prudent with how we practice such love in our daily lives. God’s love cannot be blind or simply based on heart-felt emotions. Instead, it requires our intellect to discern God’s will, just as parental love can never be misused as excuses to raise spoiled children. With such understanding, the practice of God’s love can then make our faith pure and our lives blameless before the world (1:10).
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