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God our rereward

I try to avoid being a devotional spammer, but this one seems worth the risk on the cusp of a new year:
"The God of Israel will be your rereward."

—Isaiah 52:12

Security from Yesterday. "God requireth that which is past." At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God's grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday's sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.

Security for To-morrow. "For the Lord will go before you." This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rereward. God's hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearing-house for conscience.

Security for To-day. "For ye shall not go out with haste." As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.

Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (31 December, "Yesterday")


About 25 years ago, I heard the funniest "teaching" from Kenneth Copeland on this verse ... all based on the fact that he didn't know what the word rereward meant.

If I recall, he thought it meant getting rewarded ... again!
I had to look it up because that's what I thought at first glance, too. How ridiculous (and unsurprising) to teach so carelessly.
Happy New Years, my friend.
And to you—I'm looking forward to seeing how God shows up in your life in the year ahead.