My devotional time has brought me to the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. There are just a few things in there that God has really made stick with me the last few days so I thought I'd share the conviction.
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Isaiah 2:17 and 20
The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. In that day men will throw away to the rodents and the bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship.
Often times I still get totally wrapped up in this world and the sparkly little trinkets it has to offer. I forget about the eternal kingdom that my Father has prepared for me. This life is just a shadow, scripture says, a foretaste of what is to come. This world is the imperfect world where we do not see clearly. The day is coming when God will make all things right and Jesus will rule. In that day we will throw these treasured items to the rodents and the bats in comparison of what God has in store for His children. It makes me look a whole lot differently at what's really important.
Stop trusting in man, who has but breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?
How many times is it man (or woman) that we trust in for our happiness and joy? How often do we feel the right to hold a grudge or make ourselves superior to others in order to elevate ourselves? Don't we have the right to be bitter at so-and-so for days, or weeks, or months, or years for what they did or did not do to hurt MY ego? That so-and-so is a sinner just like you, dear friend. Even in the days since I have read this verse I have had to substitute so-and-so's name to remind me that it is God alone whom I should be trusting in. "Stop trusting in so-and-so to do what I want them to do to make ME happy. Start trusting in God alone. Start being the one who does what makes God happy".
Isaiah 3: 10
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
And this one kind of hurt~
The Lord says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald. In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.
Hmmmm.... unless I am unlike all the other women that roam this earth I still fall under the trap of being somewhat haughty and relying way too much on good looks, cute clothes and hair-do's and all the other feminine charms. Well, unless I'm on the farm with my goats, but even then I like my mascara. Where should my focus be? Rather than on my outside it should be on my inside. Love, joy, peace, kindness, meditating on the word of God, delighting in his laws and decrees. And don't let anybody tell you nose rings aren't in the Bible. God doesn't seem to have an opinion here one way or another, other than if they are a distraction from Him. That still doesn't convince me to get one~ ouch!
And my favorite Isaiah passage~
... I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.