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January 16 – Conceiving chaff

“You conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble; your breath is a fire that will consume you.” – Isaiah 33:11

Scripture reading: James 4:1-12

When God arises in His power and acts to deliver His people and vanquish the enemy, He will also show how futile the Assyrian effort was. All their power, their threats, their plan of war—it is all chaff, easily lifted by the wind and blown away to where no one knows, and no one cares. They will also produce stubble—like shortened stalks of corn left in the field after the combine has passed over and chopped it down. All their warmongering produces combustible products. Like their war efforts, they themselves will be consumed by fire.

What is more—the fire that will kindle the chaff and stubble will be their own “breath.” Their raging and furious anger will consume them. All their cries of war will later turn into the weeping of defeat. Even Sennacherib, for all his boasting,was killed by his own sons upon his return to Nineveh.

God breaks human pride with divine power. The strong cannot withstand Him. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; see Proverbs 3:34). Pride, worldly living, human vanity, and careless frivolity only conceive chaff. It is only by faith in Jesus Christ that we can please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you may not be tempted by the world or by pride. Ask the Lord for grace to keep you humble, doing good works that please Him.

Rev. Todd De Rooy currently serves in Redeemer URC, in Orange City, Iowa. He has served there since being ordained in 2008. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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