Links Daily Devotional

Against Our Day

No sooner are [are rulers of this world] planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. (Isaiah 40:24, NIV)

Maybe you’re of the age when things are starting to fall apart. My old golf teacher, who long ago left the profession to earn a living selling insurance, qualified for last week’s U.S. Senior Amateur, then made it through medal play to compete in the matches.

He’s a few years past the minimum qualifying age, so I’m sure he’ll tell you he was pleased to get so far. But he’s not the player he was in his Stanford days.

Some of us may be hanging in there, thanks to the advances in equipment. But if we’d had this equipment then—oh, baby! Now these advances just help us keep pace with our bodily deterioration.

When it comes to earthly impermanence, our bodies tell us nearly all we need to know. And yet we give great credit to human forces. We read headlines of marauders and powermongers and we surmise their reign will be among the strongest ever known.

But look at those words of Isaiah. I was led to them in my studies this week for our upcoming Links Players trip to Israel. In reading about the geographical conquests of Joshua, whereby the leader and commander of God’s people overtook great swaths of Canaan, including its largest and most fortified cities, the writer of the commentary, Paul Wright, suggested two things: God is great. Men are not.

Wright’s recognition was anchored by this observation of Isaiah, where the prophet saw humanity “like grasshoppers” compared to the one who “sits enthroned above the circle of the earth.” What we build crumbles; what he founds endures.

The fear of men is often based on the fear of their might, both potential and actualized. Amok, this power can be menacing, even murderous. We have names for all this, the worst of which may well be genocide. Fear of such is understandable.

And yet greater than that fear, if we will allow it to be, is the assurance of God’s hand above them all—these warlords, these fascists, these terrorists. We people of faith in Christ are likewise people of eternity. Our lives, like the reign of our God, will last. This is his promise, secured by his power. Let us take up meditation on this truth, and let it take up residence in our worry-locked hearts, unbinding them for the glory and praise of the King of all kings.

Jeff Hopper
September 23, 2014
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