e hënë, 1 tetor 2007
Isaiah 8:11-18 (cont.)
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: On Saturday we discussed that Isaiah, though a prophet and a man of God, was still a sinner that was prone to sin. Yet, it certainly appears that Isaiah was a faithful man and a man that was determined to live his life for the glory of God. What are some of the characteristics that supported Isaiah's quest to overcome his sinful propensity and to magnify God's great glory? We can take six such characteristics from this passage, and we will look at three of them today.
First and foundational, Isaiah was a man of prayer. He is constantly seeking (and proclaiming) the mind of God. This is an obvious and fundamental aspect of Christ like behavior, and yet is one that I far too often place on the back burner of daily living.
Next, he separates himself from the world in an effort to not think like the world. ("Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.") This is a great lesson for us to learn. If we think like the world, we allow thoughts and activities to creep into our daily life that pollute and corrupt. A tainted well holds tainted water. Our mind needs to be renewed with the purity of scripture and the cleansing agent of repentance. We must not think like the world, and we must pray for ways to set our self (and our family) apart from the mundane routine of a fallen and filthy environment.
Third, Isaiah rightfully feared God. ("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 . . .") We are commanded to fear God and to acknowledge His ways, for in so doing we find our greatest purpose and joy. Have you ever noticed those cars that are security cars, like you would find at a mall or somewhere similar? Are you intimidated to pass one of those on the highway (perhaps at a speed that is in excess of the speed limit)? Would your boldness change if the car were a highway trooper? Too often, we relegate God to a passive God with no authority in our life (the mall security guard out on the highway). This attitude leads to reckless living, as if no consequences will ever result from eschewing authority in our life. Worse yet, we tend to fear the authority (or perhaps non-approval) of man to a far greater degree than we fear the supreme authority God. To continue our theme, there is a lot of talk about the cameras at traffic lights that take pictures (and send tickets) to folks that run red lights. Our God, the One we should fear, is taking a picture of every moment of every day of our entire life. Our judge will know us completely when we stand before him, and our life will literally be an open book. We are to fear our judgment, and we are to live righteously. And yet, praise God, this fear that leads to righteous living will also lead to our greatest joy. It is a foreign concept to fear that which is saving you from death, and yet that is what we must do to become all that He desires us to be.
Heard 'Round the House:
My brother-in-law and sister live a couple of houses down, and they have some teenage children. Occasionally, their yard gets wrapped (or t.p. for those in my generation). My kids have noticed this and it causes a certain amount of wonder.
Each morning when I get up, I straighten the living room. As I did so this morning, I notice that our tall house plant looks a bit strange. You guessed it, one (or more?) of our kids have "wrapped" it. I'm just thankful the toilet paper did not look used; after all, they are a bit inexperienced in such things . . .