September 29, 2017 Isaiah 19-21; Jude 1-16

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

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Determination in the Dark | Tara Wiley

S~ The oracle concerning Edom.

One keeps calling to me from Seir,

“Watchman, how far gone is the night?

Watchman, how far gone is the night?”

The watchman says,

“Morning comes but also night.

If you would inquire, inquire;

Come back again.” Isaiah 21:11-12 (NASB)

O~ The word translated “Edom” at the beginning of verse 11 is actually a Hebrew term for “silence” that is spelled nearly the same. It’s a powerful play on words.

If you’ve followed Jesus long enough, chances are you’ve been there. In the silence of a long, dark night. Wondering where He is, when He’s going to speak to you again.

Lamentations 2:19 uses the same Hebrew word for night and calls on us to have the same response in times of anguish:

“Arise, cry aloud in the night

At the beginning of the night watches;

Pour out your heart like water

Before the presence of the Lord;

Lift up your hands to Him…”

And in Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NIV) we get the promise of what happens when we keep crying out, keep calling out, keep seeking, even in the night:

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

A~ I love that our reading plan placed these verses beside Hebrews 11, that great hall of faith. Nearly every one of those mentioned endured times of silence from God. And yet they held on. They doggedly looked for Him like the night watchmen with his eyes peeled, determined to find the smallest hint of motion, the smallest sign of life.

And as we follow their examples, choosing to live out the night season with a determination not to turn our backs on God, but to dare to come to Him with all our emotions, all our shreds of faith, and ask Him for more, we find that the next season is all that more glorious – “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1,3 NIV)

The reward may be here on Earth or may require the steadfast faith of waiting until heaven to see it all come clear. But the reward.will.come. For God always keeps His promises.

Our hope in the night is for the Light we know is in our hearts, the Light that will one day eclipse night forever:

“On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.” Zechariah 14:6-7 NLT

P~ Lord, I am in an interesting season. Thank You that it’s NOT the silent night I’ve had in the past. You are here, and You are speaking, even in the struggle, like the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites through the wilderness. But I know that it is the discipline I learned in the silent night that keeps me doggedly pursuing You regardless of how I feel today. Thank You for working in me the determination to pursue You. Thank You for the reward You have already given me, that leaves me hungry for more of You. Thank You for walking with my friends in the night. Lord, if one person reading these words today is tempted by Your silence to turn and run away, I pray that today would be the day that they would know they are not alone. It is a hallmark of every true believer to have survived the dark night of the soul. With the love of a perfect Father, You use all seasons to grow us up in You. So help my friends, God, to have the determination of the Watchman, to just keep coming before You, even if there are no words but “Why” and “Help.” Thank You, Lord, for building our faith in every season as we submit to You.

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