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Daily Devotionals

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Pleasant and Good

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55

“Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

2 Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare.

3 Give ear and come to me;

listen, that you may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

my faithful love promised to David.

4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,

a ruler and commander of the peoples.

5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,

and nations you do not know will come running to you,

because of the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel,

for he has endowed you with splendor.”

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;

call on him while he is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,

and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.

This will be for the Lord’s renown,

for an everlasting sign,

that will endure forever.”

“Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.”

Isaiah 55:13

Several passages in Isaiah warn God’s people about the destruction that will come upon them because they have rejected the Lord and been unfaithful. And yet, as we find in our passage for today, God also declares that he will reverse the situation and bring about healing and restoration.

When Isaiah writes that the juniper will grow instead of the thornbush, I think of the thorny, invasive plants that grow near our house and are very hard to get rid of. What a gift it would be to have those rooted out for good! Thornbushes and ­briers make places inhospitable to people and many animals, so to have those harsh plants replaced by junipers and myrtle would be wonderful. This means not only that the situation would be more bearable, but also that the shrubs and trees replacing the unwanted plants would be edible and medicinal. Junipers and myrtles are beautiful as well as functional: junipers have anti­septic properties, and myrtles provide delicious, nutrient-rich berries and have leaves that can be used for medicine.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that our amazing God would replace thorns with shrubs and trees that are both pleasant to the sight and good for food? This demonstrates God’s attentive care for his people.

In what ways do you see God at work in your life, replacing thorns and briers with things that are both pleasant and good?

Lord, please root out the thornbushes of discontent, struggle, and strife in our lives. And fill us with healing and nourishment, that we may join with creation in praising you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Apr 24, 2021

Yes, amen!



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