Psalm 10, Isaiah 66, Hebrews 9
It’s funny reading three different scriptures, chosen sort of randomly. Well, they’re not exactly chosen randomly, but they’re chosen in a way that makes them unrelated to each other. I choose my Psalm based on the lectionary in The Book of Common Prayer. I choose my Old Testament and New Testament readings by going through a book. Right now I’m finishing up Isaiah and am midway through Hebrews.
Sometimes, because the whole book, the Bible, is telling one story, the chapters I read relate to each other in obvious ways. Sometimes, I feel as though I’m studying two very different lessons. This morning was a very-different-lesson kind of day.
Isaiah 66, as I mentioned yesterday, paints a picture of tender God, like a nursing mother or a mother bouncing her baby on her knee, but then today it was like reading a totally different story. Isaiah 66 goes from tenderness and joy to a God of fire and fury —
15“For behold, the LORD will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,
and by his sword, with all flesh;
and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
Isaiah had to have wanted that stark contrast. The only way to miss it is to not read the whole chapter. In fact, Isaiah ends on such a bleak note, that I went to end of Revelation for a happier ending. The last verse in Isaiah says,
24“And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Bleak. Grim. The last chapter of Revelation does contain some words of judgment, but it ends with this —
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
But then I moved onto Hebrews 9, a different part of the same story. Jesus has come. He is the mediator of a new covenant.
15Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
And here I am today — between these two comings of Christ. He has come to make all things new — a new covenant. And He is coming to make all things new — a new Jerusalem.
Yes. Come, Lord Jesus!