Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
The prospect of exile and captivity were very real for God’s people during the time of Isaiah. And they wanted to know that there would be security and safety. Would there be a place to dwell and to belong? The prophet gave them a glimpse of hope:
2 On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. 3 Whoever is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, 4 once the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. 5 Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over its places of assembly a cloud by day and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night. Indeed over all the glory there will be a canopy. 6 It will serve as a pavilion, a shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
Our sense of exile and estrangement may come from the times when, like Adam and Eve, we have selfishly turned from God. Our sense of wandering may come from the fact that as followers of Jesus we don’t always feel comfortable in an over-sensualized and increasingly materialistic world. And whatever the cause, when we feel alone we want to know that there is safety and security — “shade from the heat and shelter from the storm and rain.”
A similar longing echoed and affirmed in Glory to God hymn 216 Beneath the Cross of Jesus.
Do these words provide comfort for your soul?
Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way
From the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day.
Let me find rest this day, dear God, in the love and forgiveness that rests beneath the cross of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.