Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Isaiah 28:9-22; Psalm 72; Revelation 21:9-21; Luke 1:26-38

I believe that, if Mary had lived in Isaiah’s time, Isaiah would have pointed to her and said to his countrymen, “Why can’t you be like Mary?”

Isaiah, in his book, admonished the Judeans for banking so much on being God’s chosen people. He warned them that God is going to allow their enemies to destroy them since they were not living according to God’s laws. Then, God will rebuild Israel when the Messiah comes.

In these verses, Isaiah particularly rebuked the Judeans. He basically said that God should speak to them as babies since they would not listen to or hear what God had been telling them all along. He warned that God will come suddenly with anger to destroy his own people – that they had broken the bargain they made with God and were no longer protected. They had taken their favored status with God for granted.

Mary was also told that she was favored by God. Much has been written about the risk Mary took by being the virgin mother of Jesus. However, she approached her destiny much differently than the Judeans did. Mary did not go on a drinking binge, nor did she set up false gods to worship. She did not take her confusion and fear out on anyone else. She did not boast of her status. In fact, Mary did just the opposite.

Her reaction was not out of fear, although she was afraid for herself and her unborn child. Mary conducted her life between the time of the angel’s visit and the birth of Christ (and even for the rest of her life for that matter) out of faith – faith that God would protect her and would provide for her. She lived in grace and humility, unlike the Judeans.

So, in comparison, we see an entire nation, favored by God, who were at the top of their game (so to speak) and were still completely ruined for not following God’s chosen path. Then we have Mary who was never at the top, who had every reason to be outcast and even killed by her people, who lived the life of a truly favored person.

You and I are favored by God. Everyone is favored if they want to be. Which kind of life will you live? How will you respond to God’s offer?

- Vicki Nelson

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