Isaiah 57:14-19

It shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.

 

Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry; I struck them, I hid and was angry; but they kept turning back to their own ways. I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them.  Isaiah 57:14-19

 

“Build up, build up, prepare the way…”

 

Someone is building a new house across the street from our church.  There used to be a tiny little house there which was built back in the late 1940’s.  It was a perfectly fine house.  Children were raised there.  Eventually renters came and went.  Then it was put up for sale on last time and now it is no longer there.

 

I noticed the day it disappeared.  One morning it was the house that it had always been.  Then came a bulldozer and a tractor with a bucket.  By the afternoon, it was a pile of rubble.  By the evening, it was a vacant lot.  Now they have spent weeks building a new, much larger, house on the property.

 

Tearing things down is easy, quick.  Building things takes a lot more time.

 

Are you a builder or do you prefer to tear things down?

 

I watched Richard Sherman’s interview after the Seahawks beat the 49’s.  He was excited after knocking down a potential touchdown pass.  In the heat of the moment he gave a little rant instead of the normal cliché ridden post-game speech.  The next thing you know, people who don’t know the first thing about Sherman, let alone know him personally, are going off on how bad of a person he is.  It is easy to tear things down.

 

It is easy to tear people down, to criticize the government, to point out what we aren’t doing that we ought to.  It is easy to tear ourselves down, to look with critical eyes into every mirror, including the inner eyes that see what no one else can see.

 

Building is harder.  It takes more time, more care, more thought, more love.

 

This morning, God calls us to build up, not to tear down.

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, it is so easy, so tempting, to tear down, to be negative, to spot flaws, to criticize others.  It is so hard to build up, to watch our tongues, to see things from the other’s point of view.  Today, use us to build.  And build us as well, from the inside out.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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2 Responses to “Isaiah 57:14-19”

  1. Robert Says:

    I was a little behind and read yesterday’s devotion this morning. This is an excellent follow up to yesterday. If Jesus was right in the Beatitudes then we need to be builders. Thanks.

  2. David Morrell Says:

    Great message, Kerry. My wife and I agree that before we can legitimately criticize our government and leaders at any level, we first must be involved in the process. That is much more than just voting. Te majority of US citizens and Texans don’t. Your reflection on Isiah today ties in well. Thanks!

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