Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 64:1-4

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” – Isaiah 64:4

My eyes have seen jaw-dropping sunsets, Americans on the moon, open-heart surgery, the birth of my four children, and mind-boggling technology. My ears have heard the roar of an African lion in the wild, crashing ocean waves, and music of world-class musicians.

But by faith, my eyes and ears have seen and heard things more amazing – the acts of God on behalf of all who trust in Him, on us who wait on Him for His grace and mercy.

Only the God of the Old and New Testaments cares for, protects, and delivers those who trust in Him in ways that can be seen and heard. Oh, to have witnessed Him feeding Israel in the desert for 40 years, protecting Jerusalem from 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, saving Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from a fiery furnace, and reclaiming His repentant people from Babylonian exile.

God’s acts, on behalf of His people, reach their climax in His Son, Jesus Christ, as He becomes human, destroys the devil’s works, swallows up His Father’s wrath against our sin on a cross, and rises to turn death’s stench into the sweet smell of eternal life.

God’s awesome acts on our behalf continue through what appear to be simple ways. Joining His Word of pardon to water and to bread and wine, God brings us out of unbelief’s death and into faith’s life. As we wait for His return, Jesus still acts to care for, protect, and deliver us from sin’s guilt, evil’s onslaughts, and death’s grip. Come, Lord Jesus!

Prayer: Come, Thou precious Ransom, come, only hope for sinful mortals! Come, O Savior of the world! Open are to Thee all portals. Come, Thy beauty let us see; anxiously we wait for Thee (Come Thou Precious Ransom, Come – LSB 350:1).

This devotion was written by Reverend Bob Bartel, pastor at Park View Lutheran Church in Eldridge, IA.

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