As we all live through the uncertain times related to COVID-19, I thought it might be helpful to offer a daily devotional this week, focusing on biblical themes of hope and perseverance. Feel free to share the links with any you feel may benefit from them. We’ll return to a Mondays-only schedule next week. I hope this finds you well, and best wishes and prayers for our journey ahead! — Greg
GOD IS A VERB
The Lord God’s spirit is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release for captives, and liberation for prisoners…I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and dishonesty. – Isaiah 61:1, 8
God is either present or absent, existent or non-existent, an action or an idea.
Since we can’t see God, it’s easy to default on “absent, non-existent, an idea.”
Isaiah, though, saw God as a verb. Saw God anointing, sending, binding, proclaiming, liberating. Saw God loving justice and hating injustice.
The old prophet saw an invisible God tangibly doing all these things, feeling all these things. Speaking into hearts. Nudging people to action. Strengthening people to serve. Creating scenarios that make even the best playwright envious.
God is a verb because God never stops stirring, inspiring, challenging, directing. It’s not an accident that Jesus chose the words of Isaiah as the text for his first sermon (Luke 4). Jesus is the result of God’s relentless movements of mercy and justice.
I saw on Facebook recently the post from a man in the restaurant business who is now unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. To get a termination notice is chilling. What lies ahead? The feeling must be seeing the future as a huge question mark.
It must be at such times that hope lies in believing God to be a verb. It’s what another prophet, Habakkuk, believed when he wrote,
Though the fig tree doesn’t bloom, and there’s no produce on the vine; though the olive crop withers, and the fields don’t provide food; though the sheep are cut off from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls; I will rejoice in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my deliverance. The Lord God is my strength. He will set my feet like the deer. He will let me walk upon the heights. – 3:17-19
“Set my feet…let me walk…”
God is a verb.