e martë, 2 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: We continue today with how Isaiah was able to overcome his own propensity toward sin and instead was able to serve and obey his God in the midst of persecution. Yesterday, we saw three of the six attributes exhibited by Isaiah -- 1) a strong prayer life; 2) the rejection of a worldly vision; and 3) a fear of God. The final three characteristics we can distinguish in Isaiah are --
4) He looks to Christ as he lives among men, and claims Christ as the salvation for man (". . . but for both houses of Israel He [the Lord Almighty] will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall."). Christ is the cornerstone. Thus, for a child of God, He is the foundation on which all things (both temporary [our human existence] and permanent [our eternal existence]) are built. Conversely, for a child of Satan, He is a stumbling block over which the apostate and rebellious life will trip. ("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.") It becomes a great fall and a treacherous landing. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
5) He walks with God, though the path is less traveled ("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."). A child of God counts his inheritance, his lineage, as a privilege and a gift from above. This is why we "wait" on the Lord even as our world screams for us to sprint down the path of rebellion. This is why we "trust" the Lord even as our world counsels us to trust in our self.
6) Finally, Isaiah is committed to God's Word, even if His Word causes scorn and ridicule among his people. He understands that the Word of God is the only hope for his people. ("We are signs and symbols in Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.") The gift of Christ is a light to the world, and yet some (most) remain in darkness, for God has always hardened (left in darkness) those He wanted to harden and softened (brought to the light of Christ) those He wanted to soften. So it was in Egypt in the day of Pharaoh. So it was in Jerusalem and Judah in the day of Isaiah. So it was in Jerusalem in the day of Christ, even at His right and left hand as three men hung on the crosses of Calvary. For one of the convicted, it was eternal light. For the other of the convicted, it was a continuance of utter darkness.
There He is, Christ and Christ crucified. He hangs next to you. Pray that God will allow you to grasp the significance of His broken body. The beginning of the Gospel of John rings a sacred tone -- "In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."
Heard 'Round the House:
We have decided to expand to a family of 10. The little boy above is named Spencer and is from China. He is three, and we have begun the process of adopting him. We pray that God is using his adoption to bring him out of the darkness and into the light. We are privileged to be part of God's great plan, and to be included in God's great glory.