God’s good plans (26-06-20)
Bible Reading: Isaiah 25: 1, 4, 8 - 9
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvellous things, things planned long ago… You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat… The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
These words from Isaiah were part of one of my daily Bible readings this week. The verses read more like a psalm than a passage from Isaiah. I have to confess that I don’t remember ever reading them before! But that is one of the wonderful things about scripture. It is the Living Word of God and over and over again it comes to us fresh no matter how many times we have read it.
At the start of 2020, we had barely heard of Coronavirus and at that stage none of us could have imagined the effect that a world pandemic would have on our everyday lives. The virus caught the world by surprise. It has affected everybody, although undoubtedly some have suffered more than others. As I reflect on the past fourteen weeks of lockdown, I look back with gratitude on a community pulling together and supporting each other in a variety of creative ways. There have been frustrations and uncertainties, but time and again, I see God’s faithfulness, his gracious provision and answers to prayer.
I find it immensely comforting to know that nothing in this world takes God by surprise. He knows the beginning from the end and he acts in ‘perfect faithfulness’ doing ‘things planned long ago’. God always has plans in place, good plans to care for the poor and needy in their distress. Sometimes God expects us to be part of the answer: searching for a vaccine; retired medics returning to work; checking on vulnerable neighbours; sewing face masks or scrubs; or supporting aid organisations with extra cash.
At the end of the reading are the words, ‘The Lord has spoken’. There is certainty here. God will prove faithful. This is a God who keeps his word, who has good plans for us.
As we see his promises worked out in our lives and the lives of others, then we are able to own that certainty and say with confidence: ‘This is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us… Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’
Faithful God, we thank you that your promises are trustworthy, and we look forward to that day when you will wipe away the tears from all faces. May we recognise your saving power at work in our lives day by day. Amen.