Daily D – Isaiah 28:20
The bed you have made is too short to lie on. The blankets are too narrow to cover you. ISAIAH 28:20 (NLT)
Southwest Airlines has done a lot of things right through the years. I love their Wanna Get Away commercials. If you need a good chuckle, here you go: https://bit.ly/3maXy92
On three distinct occasions, I have gone to bed and pulled the covers over my head in the middle of the day due to how bad things were at the moment. One of those occasions was when I was about eight years old and set the field behind our house ablaze. It was an accident. It was an accident caused by shooting fireworks in dead, dry grass in the middle of summer. When my nosy neighbor interrupted my futile firefighting attempts to tell me she had called the fire department, I ran and hid under the covers. Somehow my grandmother knew just where to find me.
You know it’s bad when you hide under the covers. There are times when you wanna get away but a flight is not an option and a conversation would not prove helpful. There are times when you do not want another single person yacking at you. No radio. No television. No podcast. No well-meaning family member/friend/coworker/counselor, nobody.
There are times when we need to hide. There are times when the only person we need to talk to is God. There are times when we do not know what to say to him. There are times when we are afraid of what he might say or do in response to whatever we said or did.
The northern kingdom of Israel was preparing to enter a season when they would want to jump in their beds and pull the covers over their heads. Nothing like that was going to prevent the disaster coming their way. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Their beds were too short. Their blankets were too small. They made their beds through rebellion. They would lie in them in their vulnerability. They would die in them if they did not turn away from evil and turn to God.
If you are clutching your blanket a bit more tightly than normal, please understand these were words of warning. It did not have to end this way. The people could turn to God. He was wooing them to himself. He was drawing them with his cords of kindness. He was asking them, “Wanna get away?
Whenever you feel like pulling the covers over your head, you might kneel instead. I’ve become good at kneeling lately. Some prayer concerns are so heavy my knees and our upstairs couch provide the stable position necessary for seeking God’s intervention. I love Psalm 116:1, 2 in times like these. Read these words aloud:
I love the LORD because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
He knows where you are hiding. He bends down to listen. He will help you get away the right way.
When some accusing soul confronts you with words that sound a lot like something from The Lion King (“Simba, what have you done?”) and you wanna get away, go where you know you will be received, heard, and shown mercy. Go to God.
I will not go back to bed, I will go to my knees instead.
Our Father, there are moments in our lives when phrases like soul-crushingcome to mind. There are times when we want to run and hide. We want the world to go away. May Psalm 56:3 always remind us of how to reorient ourselves in such moments: “But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” You are our Rock and Refuge, our Hiding Place. You bend down to listen. You give us mercy in the moment and grace to go on. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”