This devotional was penned by Youseff.
In most of today’s chapters, God continues to announce his judgment over the wickedness and rebellion of the people. Justice is an aspect of God’s character that we tend to ignore. It makes us feel insecure to think that God judges our sins, so we tend to only think and talk about his mercy and forgiveness. However, I don’t think that approaching the Lord as a fair judge should make us feel threatened in any way. God loves us and hates evil. God declares his desire for an intimate relationship with us, and at the same time he shows his wrath over the sin that draws us away. This unique uniformity in God’s character has been so clearly portrayed in the cross where mercy and judgement met in an amazing harmony. He fulfilled the verdict of sin by his death and simultaneously announced an unparalleled love by tearing the veil of the temple which separated mankind from his throne for thousands of years.
Chapter 28 addresses an especially important topic which is relevant to us all. God in these verses was challenging his people who have fortified themselves by all sorts of defences giving them a false sense of security. They thought that “destruction can never touch them for they have built a strong refuge” (28:15). But God told them that their “refuge is made of lies and deception” and therefore “a hailstorm will knock it down and a flood will sweep it away” (28:17).
Security is one of the main needs inside everyone of us, but we tend to build this security on false foundations. Therefore, money becomes the guarantee for a better future, relationships become the source of feeling accepted, and success becomes the proof of worth. We patronise to feel better, pretend to impress others, and compromise to avoid rejection.
But God is saying to everyone: “I’m placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone that is safe to build on, the one who relies on it will never be shaken” (28:16). There is nothing stronger to build our security on than God’s love. It is the only unshakeable foundation in the face of the devastating storms which can knock down every other defence we built. He is the only refuge when we lose all sources of security. He wants us to stop our attempts to gain false acceptance and security. He is reassuring everyone: “here is a place of rest, let the weary rest here. This is the place of quiet rest” (28:12).