Friday, January 7, 2011

Week #1 Isaiah 26:9 "My Heavenly and My Earthly Father"

"My soul yearns for You in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for You. When Your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness."

What a marvelous verse from the prophet Isaiah. Yes, I have memorized this, and have pondered and prayed about it this week. I have expected that God will teach me something valuable through it. Expectancy is, I believe, one of the keys to hearing what God has to teach us. I *expect* Him to teach me. Not just *hope* He will.

I read the first two phrases in this verse this week, and I totally got that. "My soul yearns for spirit longs for You." Yes, God is my heavenly Father, so this little girl (me) longs to be with her Daddy.

Then there's the second half of the verse. "When Your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the earth learn righteousness."

Yes, I get that as well. God's judgment is righteous, and we mere mortals should shiver and quake at the coming of the Eternal Judge.

What I pondered all week is the juxtaposition of the two ideas. We yearn and long for God, and (or perhaps, "therefore") we learn righteousness by His judgments. This puzzled me at first. Does this suggest that we believers yearn and long for God's judgment? Yikes!

I then recalled my earthly father. He was a man of few words, but when he disapproved of our actions, we knew it. All it took was a glance or a short phrase....and my siblings and I understood that we had done wrong.

But, he taught us his values: hard work, respectful behavior, sacrifice for the people and things that are worthwhile, and not to bring shame to the family. These were good things. And I understood the value in being a part of our little family. I yearned and longed to be a part of my family. I never saw this so clearly as after I moved away from my home state of Washington and lived alone in California...away from my family.

I realized the worth of my father's values and principles. Especially after becoming a Mom myself, I saw the value of the discipline and "judgments" of my father. It made me a part of my family, and of our shared values and love.

So it is with God. His children yearn for His Fatherhood, and to be His children. So, His judgments make us a part of His family. If God had just left us alone to "do our own thing" throughout history, we wouldn't really be members of the family of God. We'd be illegitimate children, running wild and without love and discipline. Not even spoiled, more like "neglected."

Do I look forward to God's judgments? Not really. But I really do long for my Heavenly Father. The whole package. Not just the touchy-feely parts that some in the church love to "market" to the public.

I want to be His little girl. I want Him to be my Daddy. And I know it will all end well. Because my Daddy loves me that much.

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