Passage: The Lord spoke to me with His strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said:
"Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one your are to dread, and He will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel He will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured."
Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him.
Here I am, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.
Journal: The words of the Lord to Isaiah should be heeded by each of us. God's chosen prophet to Judah during this crisis, as far as our study of God's word reveals, has been faithful to God's calling. Yet, God is careful to sternly warn His prophet to avoid being snared by the thorny undergrowth of life. ("The Lord spoke to me with His strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people.")
Why this warning to an apparently faithful servant? Isaiah, like you and me, is a man prone to sin. Isaiah, like you and me, is capable of committing any and all sin. Isaiah, like you and me, must maintain a vertical focus to avoid a horizontal failure. Quoting J.C. Ryle, "The best of men are only men at their best." A common trait we all have is that, at one time or another, we will reject God and we will let each other down. Thus it is important, once we become entangled in that thorny underbrush of sinfulness, to call on our redeemer. Ask first for avoidance. If in failure, ask for deliverance. Upon deliverance, rejoice with thanksgiving. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.