Do you have an attitude? Do you have a persona that pushes people the wrong way? Do you act in a way that is loving and caring? What do people think when they see you?
What are you building your life on? Are you building it upon a solid foundation? Are you building it from the cornerstone who is able to ensure that your life is aligned and ready to be built up? Jesus is the corner. From Him, we are able to ensure that our foundation is firm and that we are aligned to grow. Are you measuring yourself with justice so that the things you do, the words you speak, and thoughts you think are just? Are you aligning yourself with righteousness so that the things you do, the words you speak, and the thoughts you think are right? In doing both we can trust that life won’t topple. Without them we better stay close to the ground or risk the fact that life will topple over because of pride or arrogance or misalignment. In today’s reading from Isaiah, we hear about it this way:
16-17But the Master, God, has something to say to this: “Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion, a solid granite foundation, squared and true. And this is the meaning of the stone: a trusting life won’t topple. I’ll make justice the measuring stick and righteousness the plumb line for the building. A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies, and a flash flood will wash out the rubble.
18-22“Then you’ll see that your precious life insurance policy wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Your careful precautions against death were a pack of illusions and lies. When the disaster happens, you’ll be crushed by it. Every time disaster comes, you’ll be in on it— disaster in the morning, disaster at night.” Every report of disaster will send you cowering in terror. There will be no place where you can rest, nothing to hide under. God will rise to full stature, raging as he did long ago on Mount Perazim And in the valley of Gibeon against the Philistines. But this time it’s against you. Hard to believe, but true. Not what you’d expect, but it’s coming. Sober up, friends, and don’t scoff. Scoffing will just make it worse. I’ve heard the orders issued for destruction, orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies—ending up in an international disaster.
23-26Listen to me now. Give me your closest attention. Do farmers plow and plow and do nothing but plow? Or harrow and harrow and do nothing but harrow? After they’ve prepared the ground, don’t they plant? Don’t they scatter dill and spread cumin, Plant wheat and barley in the fields and raspberries along the borders? They know exactly what to do and when to do it. Their God is their teacher.
27-29And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices, the dill and cumin, are treated delicately. On the other hand, wheat is threshed and milled, but still not endlessly. The farmer knows how to treat each kind of grain. He’s learned it all from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who knows everything about when and how and where. — Isaiah 28:16-29
Are you pursing the right things? Are you pursuing things that will add value to your life and the lives of those around you? or Do you have things backwards and keeping finding out that the things you thought were right or the things of value keep coming up wrong or empty? Without God it is all empty!
11-12What you’ve been shown here is somewhat like a letter in a sealed envelope. If you give it to someone who can read and tell her, “Read this,” she’ll say, “I can’t. The envelope is sealed.” And if you give it to someone who can’t read and tell him, “Read this,” he’ll say, “I can’t read.”
13-14The Master said: “These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren’t in it. Because they act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it, I’m going to step in and shock them awake, astonish them, stand them on their ears. The wise ones who had it all figured out will be exposed as fools. The smart people who thought they knew everything will turn out to know nothing.”
15-16Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track. You shut God out and work behind the scenes, Plotting the future as if you knew everything, acting mysterious, never showing your hand. You have everything backward! You treat the potter as a lump of clay. Does a book say to its author, “He didn’t write a word of me”? Does a meal say to the woman who cooked it, “She had nothing to do with this”?
17-21And then before you know it, and without you having anything to do with it, Wasted Lebanon will be transformed into lush gardens, and Mount Carmel reforested. At that time the deaf will hear word-for-word what’s been written. After a lifetime in the dark, the blind will see. The castoffs of society will be laughing and dancing in God, the down-and-outs shouting praise to The Holy of Israel. For there’ll be no more gangs on the street. Cynical scoffers will be an extinct species. Those who never missed a chance to hurt or demean will never be heard of again: Gone the people who corrupted the courts, gone the people who cheated the poor, gone the people who victimized the innocent.
22-24And finally this, God’s Message for the family of Jacob, the same God who redeemed Abraham: “No longer will Jacob hang his head in shame, no longer grow gaunt and pale with waiting. For he’s going to see his children, my personal gift to him—lots of children. And these children will honor me by living holy lives. In holy worship they’ll honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in holy awe of the God of Israel. Those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude.” — Isaiah 11-24
1-5“Doom, rebel children!” God’s Decree. “You make plans, but not mine. You make deals, but not in my Spirit. You pile sin on sin, one sin on top of another, Going off to Egypt without so much as asking me, Running off to Pharaoh for protection, expecting to hide out in Egypt. Well, some protection Pharaoh will be! Some hideout, Egypt! They look big and important, true, with officials strategically established in Zoan in the north and Hanes in the south, but there’s nothing to them. Anyone stupid enough to trust them will end up looking stupid— All show, no substance, an embarrassing farce.” 6-7And this note on the animals of the Negev encountered on the road to Egypt: A most dangerous, treacherous route, menaced by lions and deadly snakes. And you’re going to lug all your stuff down there, your donkeys and camels loaded down with bribes, Thinking you can buy protection from that hollow farce of a nation? Egypt is all show, no substance. My name for her is Toothless Dragon.
8-11So, go now and write all this down. Put it in a book So that the record will be there to instruct the coming generations, Because this is a rebel generation, a people who lie, A people unwilling to listen to anything God tells them. They tell their spiritual leaders, “Don’t bother us with irrelevancies.” They tell their preachers, “Don’t waste our time on impracticalities. Tell us what makes us feel better. Don’t bore us with obsolete religion. That stuff means nothing to us. Quit hounding us with The Holy of Israel.”
12-14Therefore, The Holy of Israel says this: “Because you scorn this Message, Preferring to live by injustice and shape your lives on lies, This perverse way of life will be like a towering, badly built wall That slowly, slowly tilts and shifts, and then one day, without warning, collapses— Smashed to bits like a piece of pottery, smashed beyond recognition or repair, Useless, a pile of debris to be swept up and thrown in the trash.” — Isaiah 30:1-14
God’s Timing is perfect! His plan is to give us a hope and a future!
15-17God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’ You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough! You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’ Do you think your pursuers ride old nags? Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker. Before a mere five you’ll all run off. There’ll be nothing left of you— a flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”
18But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.
19-22Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”
23-26God will provide rain for the seeds you sow. The grain that grows will be abundant. Your cattle will range far and wide. Oblivious to war and earthquake, the oxen and donkeys you use for hauling and plowing will be fed well near running brooks that flow freely from mountains and hills. Better yet, on the Day God heals his people of the wounds and bruises from the time of punishment, moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.
27-28Look, God’s on his way, and from a long way off! Smoking with anger, immense as he comes into view, Words steaming from his mouth, searing, indicting words! A torrent of words, a flash flood of words sweeping everyone into the vortex of his words. He’ll shake down the nations in a sieve of destruction, herd them into a dead end.
29-33But you will sing, sing through an all-night holy feast! Your hearts will burst with song, make music like the sound of flutes on parade, En route to the mountain of God, on the way to the Rock of Israel. God will sound out in grandiose thunder, display his hammering arm, Furiously angry, showering sparks— cloudburst, storm, hail! Oh yes, at God’s thunder Assyria will cower under the clubbing. Every blow God lands on them with his club is in time to the music of drums and pipes, God in all-out, two-fisted battle, fighting against them. Topheth’s fierce fires are well prepared, ready for the Assyrian king. The Topheth furnace is deep and wide, well stoked with hot-burning wood. God’s breath, like a river of burning pitch, starts the fire. — Isaiah 30:15-33