Thursday, April 24, 2008

Isaiah 7-10

The sentence in chapter 7 that strikes me the most is the last half of verse 9. "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." This wasn't just nice God talk; it was life and death since it concerned invading armies. What is stronger in my life today, fear or faith?

A related verse in chapter 8 reads, "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us" (v. 10).

Chapter 9 has a profound verse regarding widows and orphans. Most verses relating to those two groups are words of defense and encouragement, but notice why this one is so different. "Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will he pity the fatherless and widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks vileness" (v. 17).

Just being in a weak or marginalized group doesn't mean a person has a free-ride ticket with God. Wickedness and "vileness" mean there is disobedience and pain, and that doesn't fly with God no matter who the actor is.

Justice retakes the focus in chapter 10. For example, "Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless" (v. 1-2).

Finally, God is as much against pride as he is against injustice. A connection? "I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eye" (v. 12).

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