Friday, December 8
Isaiah 24:14-25:12, Obadiah 1-21, 1 John 2:15-29
WARNING: Contents Under Pressure.
Have you witnessed someone responding to an innocuous situation with a spitefulness or anger you would never have foreseen? And if that unexpected reaction was directed toward you, it can be harrowing.
The pressure inside was greater than the pressure outside of that individual. Like a can of shaken soda, things got messy quickly. And during a season of the year when life can seem very pressure-filled, whatever is inside of us can spill out as well. Let this be a lesson and reminder for each of us during Advent as today’s texts provide contrasting examples.
From Obadiah, the Bible’s smallest book, we find a big example of the consequence of built up hatred and division within one’s heart. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress (Obadiah 1:11-12).
In contrast, Isaiah 24 shows how God’s faithful people can respond, even in the midst of unbelievable calamity and uncertainty. They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west. Therefore, in the east give glory to the LORD; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One (Isaiah 24:14-16).
What is within me comes out of me—especially in times of great pressure. While the days of Advent may not parallel the destruction of Judah, during this season, we can easily become overwhelmed. We may be steeped in self-inflicted pressure to purchase, bake, mail, wrap, and decorate Christmas rather than filling our hearts and minds with the love and peace of the Christ through reading and meditation of God’s Word, prayer, and simple fellowship with His body of believers.
May hallelujah—gratitude and adoration to God—spill from our lips and our lives.
DR. MICHAEL UDEN
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About this series
“God With Us: the uncommon advent of our Savior” is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the CUWAA community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God’s Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound enthusiasm and anticipation through the Holy Spirit.