January 26, 2016

Isaiah 22:1-13

Here God’s narrative turns to the fate of Jerusalem. Isaiah paints quite the contrast between the dire straits his nation is about to be in and the attitude of its citizenry. In the face of all the warnings of coming judgement due to her unfaithfulness, Isaiah speaks of joy, not fear, in the streets and houses—parties and not preparation. How can Jerusalem (the subject of this prophecy) be such a happening place when doom is so near? Is it from her unshakeable faith in the care-taking of God?

Unfortunately, the celebrations come from an all-too-familiar state of denial. God rescued them many times before and must do so again, right? God is obliged to protect and provide to the point that all wants are met, right? It doesn’t really matter that they weren’t really subjugating themselves to God’s perfect will, does it? Taking a step back, we have seen this attitude in many places in the Bible. We’ve seen it in stories from Noah all the way through Revelation. We’ve heard it spoken from Jesus himself. We certainly see it in our own nation today.

You may say your life belongs to God, but your actions reveaal the truth. Do you focus solely on God’s love? Or do you balance that in your mind and heart (and, therefore, actions) with the sobriety that comes from believing with equal fervency in his coming judgements? Does your understanding and acceptance of that coming judgement move you to educate, encourage, even cajole those around you into, or deeper into, the Kingdom? Could someone, by merely examining the way you behave, conclude that you truly believe all of God’s Word?