For the week of October 20, 2001 / 3 Heshvan 5762
Torah: Bereshit / Genesis 6:9 - 11:32
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1 - 55:5

What Controls Our Decisions?

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities (Isaiah 54:2,3).

People seem to always want to know what is going to happen in the future. Perhaps the biggest reason for that is so that we could make better decisions. We tend to choose our course of education based upon our understanding of where we think the job market will be upon graduation. Most of us would invest our money (if we have any) in the things that will provide the greatest return. We decide where to live depending on how we think things will turn out in a particular location.

In this week's Haftarah God's people are given instructions based upon what will happen in the future. They are told to expand their dwellings, because in the future the nation itself will experience expansion.

It is difficult to know exactly which time period Isaiah is writing about, but it is clear that no matter what hardships the people would face, eventually things would go well with them. These words were to affect their decisions. Because they were to live with hope and not despair, they were to enlarge their dwellings.

This is how it should be for us today, if we know the Messiah.

While we are living in a time of great uncertainty, God has promised to take care of us. More than that - our future is actually glorious. Life may get very difficult and dangerous. But when we know God, we are not at the mercy of circumstances and world events. When we know the Messiah we can live in touch with the reality of Heaven, while living within the confines of Earth.

The world may tell us that the future is uncertain and that danger is lurking around every corner. But the Scriptures tell us that the Messiah is returning to establish his Kingdom on Earth, that all God's enemies will be destroyed and that peace will reign for ever.

We have decisions to make about our lives: what we will give ourselves and our resources to. But what will motivate those decisions? Will it be the dreadful current events that seek to control our every move? Or will it be our certain hope and bright future in the Messiah?

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