Read Isaiah 35vv3-7
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.
Silence is kept for two minutes.
Isaiah again circles in on the theme of judgment. God will come with vengeance. This kind of language is important for 21st century American Christians to recover. We recoil from the idea of a “judgmental” God because we think God needs better marketing for a progressive world. But pay attention. What does the vision of God’s vengeance and recompense actually entail here in Isaiah: weak hands strengthened, feeble knees solidified, fearful hearts made courageous, blind eyes opened, deaf ears unplugged, lame legs leaping like a deer, springs in the desert, barren land becoming lush. God’s judgment is not simply God saying “you are bad, I am good.” God’s judgment, his vengeance is unleashed on everything that threatens the beauty of his creation.
Prayer: Lord, may we judge as you judge, not labeling and discounting people but discerning sorrow and injustice and bringing life.