De rigeuer. It’s the word that was in my mind the moment I awoke this morning, and I can’t even imagine a scenario in which that would’ve been my first thought! Knowing it had to be a piece of a bigger puzzle, I told the Lord that I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about, and I’d wait for Him to give me some more clues so I could figure it out.
As is my usual practice, I grabbed my coffee and settled in with my Bible for some quiet time with the Lord before the demands of the day ran away with me, and I started reading Isaiah again, going through the first four chapters. I’d just finished it yesterday, but I’d received a wonderful new journaling Bible at about chapter 46, so I decided to go back to the beginning so I can ‘personalize’ a whole book at a time. In fact, the reason I got the new Bible was because my last one is beginning to wear out, and many passages are double and triple marked, with hard-to-read notes scrunched into the small margins. My older Bible was a gift that I really want to be able to keep and take along with me, but its days are numbered unless it gets a break.
Reading along and relishing all the space I now have to make notes, I read the first four chapters without really thinking about my ‘word of the day’. When finished, I moved on to My LinkedIn discussion group, Standing In Faith, and read a new discussion in which comments had been made about the true value of success, as contrasted with popular indicators of value that focus on outward appearances.
Hmmmm, maybe there’s a pattern here. De rigeueur refers to a requirement of etiquette or current fashion in order to be fashionable or socially acceptable. Put that that together with the words of Isaiah 3:16-26, which I’d just read, and it sure began looking like the Lord’s had a plan in mind here.
The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet, therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle. And her gates shall lament and mourn; empty, she shall sit on the ground.
The words above were written to the kingdom of Judah in the days of the Old Testament, but are as relevant for the church today as they were for His people then. We live in a time when evil is increasing exponentially; immorality and downright debauchery are rampant; our children are being sacrificed through abortion; and the list goes on. Unfortunately, in the midst of it all, many Christians are choosing to compromise with the world, preferring to ‘go along to get along’ rather than to stand firm in their faith, refusing to budge when it comes to God’s righteousness and justice. It’s time to heed seriously the words of 1 Peter 4:17:
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Yes, God’s judgment will surely start within the house of the Lord, and those who are His had better be standing in faith rather than compromise. If we are, then there’s an amazing answer right there in Isaiah 3:10-11 to the question from 1 Peter:
Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
Does anybody remember George Peppard’s oft-spoken line as Hannibal in the A Team? “I just love it when a plan comes together.” That describes perfectly my sentiment today as I watched God assemble the pieces of His lesson of the day! My prayer is that many of us will choose to be on God’s A Team.