Today I’m learning the value of having my quiet times early in the morning. I slept in and now it’s daytime and I’m finding that I’m having a lot of distractions with which to contend: email pop ups, answering machine messages, thoughts of what i should be doing with my time right now, people with questions for me, and I’m wondering who might be trying to reach me.
But I’m here, finally. I’ve turned off the phones, shut down email, and I’m hoping the doorbell doesn’t ring so I can focus on today’s passage.
The first thing I notice is a huge contrast between yesterday’s passage and today’s, almost like opposites.
Yesterday, Paul was talking about bringing in unworthy “outsiders” and making something beautiful of them regardless of their heritage or nationality.
Today, Paul states that most who were considered “insiders” by their heritage as Jews will be cut off and only a remnant of them will be saved.
I learned today that the NET Bible puts Old Testament quotations in bold italics, but loose or paraphrased quotations are in italics without the bold. (Paul didn’t always quote exactly, which gives encouragement to me when I struggle with scripture memory!)
My last comment today will be about the final verse. “If the Lord of armies (hosts, Sabaoth) had not left us descendants…we would have been wiped out like Sodom and Gomorrah” (note the unbolded italics indicating my loose translation!)
The implication here is that it’s all the Lords doing. It’s not that we have any power or ability to stay true and faithful as a remnant. No! Without God’s intervention we’d all self-destruct!
It is humbling to think that everything I might consider to admirable in myself is really to His credit not mine. Without His transformative power, I’d be right there burning in sulphur and fire.
Reflecting on that, even in the midst of a busy day of distractions, ought to make us eternally thankful.
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