August 15, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 258: Nail In A Sure Place

Nail In A Sure Place

"And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house." (Isaiah 22:23 KJV)

"I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat of honor for the house of his father." (Isaiah 22:23 NIV)

My dad taught me everything I know about tools, carpentry, and home repair.

He didn't teach me everything HE knows, because he knows a lot, and I am not a very adept student in this subject.

But what I know, I learned from him.

And from him, I know that if I'm trying to hang anything very heavy on a wall, my nail needs to be pounded into firm, solid studding, not just into powdery plaster or drywall. Searching out the hidden studding and driving the nail into the wood are going to take some effort. It might be hard work. But the end result will be sure and firm.

Under the Old Covenant, God's people were trying to hang their hopes on nails not driven into sure places...on rules and regulations and earthly kings they hoped could save them. But the heaviness of their sin—like the heaviness of ours—quickly pulled those nails out, and their hopes came crashing down.

Jesus was not an easy peg on which to hang a hope. He Himself had to give up everything. To be our Nail In A Sure Place, He had to endure the nails of the cross, driven into wood only after they were first driven through His flesh. And as He calls us to follow Him by following His lead, we have hard work to do, too: dying to ourselves so we can live for Him. Taking up our own crosses. Laying down our lives.

Sometimes, I do not want to work this hard for hope. I want to hang my security on pegs that are easier to drive in. Pegs I can pound into my own efforts, my own abilities, people around me, financial stability, good works, my "resume." This all looks pretty for a while, hanging there on the walls. But soon it comes crashing down.

And so I look again for solid studding: for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I pound the nail of faith into these. I rehang my hope on that nail...and it is a sure and firm hope that does not fail and does not fall.

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!