Advent Devotional – Sunday, December 11, 2016 – The Significance of a Child
8 Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. 3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
5 The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, 6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son; 7 now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: 8 and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.
9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
11 For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. – Isaiah 8:1-15
Do you ever try the patience of humans? Do you ever try the patience of God? I am truly sure that I do. As a teen growing up, I distinctly remember my father telling me that I had tested every bit of his patience! And, my husband would gladly tell you that I try his patience on a regular basis. It seems to be a common occurrence around our home to test people‘s patience, as my children have learned to be very good at this also!
But how does it make you feel to know you test the patience of God? God is the very ONE I do not want to disappoint. I do not want to make Him angry, or frustrated with me, and I certainly do not want to test His patience. But I am sure I do. I am sure I already have this morning!
So how can we not test God‘s patience?!?! The first thought that comes to my mind is to OBEY Him. Let‘s not make Him ask us over and over. We teach our children first time obedience, so we should learn it ourselves! When God gives us that gentle nudge to reach out to someone, to help someone, to call someone, to bless someone, let‘s do it!! And not just for the Christmas season, but all year long! And when we read the commands in God‘s Word, let‘s accept them as commands, not merely suggestions!
Thank you Lord Jesus, for accepting us into your family, when we obey you, and even when we do not. Thank you for having patience with us, and for giving us second chances. Please help us strive to please you. Thank you for sending Jesus to our world, and for the salvation he brings to us!