Monday, January 03, 2011

Hope In the Middle of Disaster and Doom

Monday, January 3, 2011

I read Isaiah 3:1-5:30. The verses I am taking as my verses for the day are 4:5-6.

5 Then God will bring back the ancient pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night and mark Mount Zion and everyone in it with his glorious presence, his immense, protective presence,
6 shade from the burning sun and shelter from the driving rain.

Isaiah 4 is so short but oh man what a powerful punch. Chapter 3 describes (in some places pretty graphically – I think Eugene watered it down a little from what the Hebrew says) the outward expressions of the dark hearts of the Israelites. I think the outward expressions are like what we call "fruit sins" in Route1520. Fruit sins are the disasters you can see but they always have root sins that produce them. Some root sins I have seen in my life are dishonesty, lust, pride, envy, and fear. Ultimately they all go back to unbelief. The problem is that so often we just want the fruit sins to be gone and we dont want to take the time it takes to attack to root sins. Truth is that if we are ever going to see those fruit sins dry up, we must let the gospel message attack the root sins in our hearts. In Isaiah 4:1, the description of the fruit sins comes to its low point, what a lot of people call rock bottom. But to our surprise it is here, just when it looks like all light of hope has been totally burned out, “…that’s when God’s Branch will sprout green and lush.” Right between disaster, which the Israelites brought on themselves as a result of their darkened hearts, and doom, which God uses to discipline his children, there is HOPE. What does he promise as a gift of hope? NOTHING but HIS PRESENCE. I wonder how many times I see his presence alone (4:2-6)as the only hope in the middle of the disaster of my life (3:1-4:1) and the doom of my consequences (5:1-30). Not nearly often enough. Today Lord, show me how YOUR PRESENCE is all I need, your immense, protective presence that is shade from the burning sun (reminds me of Jonah and the shade tree) and shelter from the driving rain.

1 comment:

Todd Ruth said...

Great thoughts yo. Too many times I want to see other things than simply God's presence. May God's presence be enough.