Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 16: 19-20, 2 Chronicles 28: 26-27; Isaiah 13:1 through Isaiah 16:14
Have you ever had a parent, teacher, or employer pull you aside and give you, in great detail a long list of punishments that are going to be administered?
Then when you feel your heart in your throat, they say…
But you are exempt from that punishment.
That’s exactly what happened to Israel in today’s scripture.
In Isaiah 13, the prophet painted a graphic picture of God’s’ wrath coming down on Babylon, that would scare the mightiest warrior; 22 verses of gloom and doom.
Can you imagine the Israelites standing in the courtyard of the Temple (not sure where they were, but let’s pretend) and listening to Isaiah go on and on with the gory details—screams in terror, every arm is paralyzed in fear, every heart melts, pangs of anguish grip them like those of a woman in labor; to mention just a few?
Then in chapter 14, the word that is like Mr. Cleans’® Magic Eraser® comes on the scene—BUT.
And suddenly everything changes.
But the Lord will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel. The nations of the world will help the Lord’s people to return, and those who come to live in their land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will themselves be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies. –Isaiah 14: 1-2
The Israelites were being held captive by the Babylonians and God was going to rescue them! I’m sure as Isaiah was prophesying doom on Babylon the Israelites were thinking, ‘but WE live here, what’s going to happen to us?”
Can you imagine the celebration when they heard the “but” word?
Friends, there are 4035 “buts” in the Bible (KJV). They’re either erasing good things or bad things.
Each time we have a choice…
Which side of the “but” will we be on?
Will we reject Him or accept Him?
Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.”
And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
“Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.” –1 Peter 2:7-10
I’m so thankful for this amazing promise! I challenge you as you read each day’s passage, look for the “buts” and circle them.
Here’s one you need to circle immediately, the greatest “but” of all time:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Just a side note—remember if you use a “but” after a compliment, it erases the compliment!
Thanking God the Magic Eraser!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 29:2 through 2 Chronicles 31:21