Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 4), (Isaiah 50), (Revelation 10,11)
The prophecy of Isaiah is like a mine into which we dig for godly thoughts and illuminating visions, but these are sometimes set against a backdrop of failure in God’s nation. Today’s 50th chapter starts, “Thus says the LORD” but the message is one of dismay at their ungodliness, “Why, when I called , was there no one to answer? … have I no power to deliver? [v.2] Of course he has power – but there must be a response to his message.
The prophet says, “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him (or her) who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught … and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward” [v.4,5] What of us “morning by morning”? Are we listening, we listen today by reading his word, we must not be seen as “rebellious.”
Isaiah then pre-figures a far greater prophet than himself, one who would say, “I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting” [v.6 – see Matt.26 v67 when they spit at Jesus]. Then we noted v.10 and surely this is a question for us: “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant? (note Isaiah.42 v.1-4) Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.” Darkness surely covers the world today.
If “morning by morning” we awaken to learn more from his word our vision of God will grow and grow – and one day we will echo the words of the elders in today’s reading of ch. 11 in Revelation: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty; who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name ….” [v.17,18]
Let us fear, that is, be in awe of all that God and His Son must be – “morning by morning” – also being ready to sustain him or her “who is weary” – let us do this today and every day.