Tuesday of Pentecost 4 – Isaiah 66:10-14

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
    all you who mourn over her;
11 that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
    from her glorious abundance.”

12 For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
    and bounced upon her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts,
    so I will comfort you;
    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
    your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,
    and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

My college friends had come home with me for a break. We had driven past my house a couple of miles, stopped the car and now stood next to the freeway in wonder. Before us a stretched not the normal continuance of I-70, but a very substantial lake. The confluence of the Davis and Blackwater rivers, just south of the freeway, had been inundated by recent rains, pushing the water over the banks and over the freeway itself. The leaden, overcast skies threatened more rain. Across the rippling water we could see the little town of Sweet Springs, which now was on an island, the last county road into the town having been overtopped by the flood a few days earlier.

Isaiah likens the peace which God will bring us to a river and the glory which shall flow into Jerusalem to a stream which has overflowed its banks. Standing next to that freeway, the normally sedate Davis creek had become a wild and powerful thing. There was no stopping it. It is an interesting image for our Lord to use to describe His blessings to his people, especially His peace. We tend to think of God dribbling out blessings in response to our prayers, a tame and gentle flow which we might enjoy and consider at our leisure. But Isaiah sees a mighty flood of peace, a glory of God which flows and will not be stopped. It sweeps away our objections and all that is in its path.

While we stood there with our mouths agape at the spectacle before us, we heard a car drive up behind us. The doors flew open and out jumped the local doctor. Sweet Springs was the location of the only nearby hospital. He cheerfully greeted us, walked over to the edge of the water, got into a little boat which had been drawn up on the should of the highway, and soon was making his way across the flood toward town and his patients who were in the hospital there. God had given this man to the community to care for them. He was part of that flood.

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