Isaiah 10: 1—11: 16
Everything is under God’s control, even the Assyrian Army who denies God’s existence and see’s the God of Israel as just one in the pantheon of gods to be overcome. God uses them to bring about the discipline promised in Deuteronomy. But our God is not just Perfect Judge, He is also Perfect Love. These two characteristics are displayed side by side because God is all His attributes all the time. He is disciplining Israel and Judah now for sin, but in the end, he will call them back just like He called them out of Egypt because that is what He promised to do. He will punish Assyria because that is what He promised to do. The coming reign of Christ is the hope we find in this section. That reign with be a perfect one where lion and lamb lay together in perfect harmony because the world will know Jesus is King. We all look forward to this.
2 Corinthians 12: 11-21
Sarcasm is my love language. And I love that Paul employed the higher power of sarcasm in this section of the letter. “The only thing I failed to do is become a financial burden to you, Oooooooohhhhhh, I am soooooooo sorry, Plleeeaassse forgive me.” Someone please make a meme of this for me! I will use it every single day of my life. The truth nugget in here for me is that this is what we as church people are capable of doing to our leaders. Instead of being sensitive to the burden they carry we make things harder for them by being skeptical. If the Corinthians were able to do this to Paul, we are just as fallible. When our congregations are categorized by what I like to call the fruit of the flesh—quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorderly behavior—it makes sense we would turn on our leaders too, right? This kind of behavior renders us useless as a church. So, stop it. Stop making things harder for leadership. You see something needs to be done at your church, get off your duff and do it. You want to attend a bible study at 9: 15 on Thursday mornings and your church doesn’t have one? Don’t whine about how the leadership is not fulfilling your needs, ask the leadership if you can start one yourself. The leadership is under enough burden just trying to keep us all going in the right direction, let’s be part of the solution not something they have to stop everything for and deal with.