Passage: Isaiah 30:8-18
A Rebellious People
8 And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.
9 For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD;
10 who say to the seers, "Do not see," and to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel."
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, "Because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them,
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern."
15 For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. "But you were unwilling,
16 and you said, "No! We will flee upon horses"; therefore you shall flee away; and, "We will ride upon swift steeds"; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.
Journal: Yesterday, on the radio, I heard a first hand account of a student that had been in the lecture hall when the shooting began at NIU last week. As the shots began ringing out, he hit the floor and then quickly made it out through a back exit. He saw a wall, and all that he could think of was to get that wall between him and the building, between him and the shooter. The wall represented his refuge and his protection.
This was the attitude of Judah, only Judah had a problem with her wall. The wall was ill conceived and poorly constructed. The brick and mortar was not the impenetrable word of God. Rather, the materials used were the pride of men and the lust of the flesh.
Isaiah was presenting the nation of Judah with that which endures ["And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever."]. The people of God preferred to live a life free from God, free from the perceived oppression of righteousness. This is the life that comes naturally, a life that pursues self above all things ["For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, "Do not see," and to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel."]
The bricks are not dried properly. The mortar is not mixed properly. The wall may look strong on the outside, but it is crumbling at its foundation. [". . . therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant."] The wall crumbles because we seek to hear those things that are "smooth" over those things that are righteous. Judah sought to be rewarded for self effort. The greater the effort of self, the less reliance that is placed on Him that conquers self. We should let go of our reliance on the "swift steeds" of our day, for our "pursuers shall be swift."
Heard 'Round the House: Anna [age 8] has a whimsical personality; sort of a Walter Mitty quality to her. We have told her so often that she is off in "Anna World" that she now actually and purposefully goes there in her mind. She likes for me to go with her, which involves us holding hands and jumping through the doorway from the kitchen to the bedroom. Once there, it seems that Anna operates an inn [the "Anna Inn"]. The Anna Inn has 350 rooms, and countless swimming pools and gardens. As best I can tell from her description, it is strikingly similar to The Gaylord in Orlando. My job is to tend to the gardens, because she knows that I like to do that in the real world. Come to think of it, Alex [age 12] mentioned the other day that he is going to start his own business when he grows up, and that he plans on giving me a job. He then mused that if he has to fire everyone that I will be the last one to be fired. Oh well, at least I'll still have my gardening job at the Anna Inn to fall back on.
Note: Thanks for your prayers for Alan and Michelle Smith, and for Tiffany Grace Smith. Below is the latest update from Alan --
Thanks for all the calls, emails and prayers. We appreciate all of you so much and are so blessed to have friends and family like you guys. The transfusion went well. The red blood cell counts are significantly improved as is the oxygen content in the blood. They are giving her a few things to help her stabilize. We will be doing testing over the next few days to ascertain organ function and to make sure no other issues exist due to the previous anemic condition. She is doing as well as could be expected, but really need 72 hrs under her belt to establish a track record. We will update you as things progress. Mom is recovering well. And should be able to go home Thursday or Friday Down below in this email is the initial update for those this didn't go out to last night due to the quick occurrence of events.
Alan and Michelle"