Do you have your Christmas Tree up yet? Because you know, if you don’t you’re already behind. And did you get all your gifts? What about Christmas cards? And the perfect picture of your family to go on the cards? … Did your heart rate increase just reading that list? Friends, the timing of Isaiah 28-30 could not be more appropriate. The main theme of the prophet in this section is that God’s people can’t sit still. And if ever there were a season that we struggle to sit still and wait, it is the season before Christmas.
God’s people were turning to other nations, stronger kings, for protection, promised security, prosperity and rest. But Isaiah’s message is that they will always come up short...
- “Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
- And the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.”
God’s people couldn’t wait for him to act, couldn’t trust his word, couldn’t sit still long enough to listen to his word before they took matters into their own hands… sound familiar? Me too.
- “'This is rest;
- Give rest to the weary;
- And this is repose;'
- Yet they would not hear."
There is a lot of noise competing for our attention right now, not just externally but also, and especially, internally. Doubts, anxieties, past failures all build and demand immediate and tangible relief. Distractions and avenues of momentary rest abound. They look so promising, so sure, only to find ourselves more anxious, more confused, and more weary than when we started.
- “'In returning and rest you shall be saved;
- In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.'
- But you were unwilling.”
The good news? God’s grace is unhindered even by the stubbornness of his own children.
- “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
- For the Lord is a God of justice;
- Blessed are all those who wait for him.
- For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.”
Quietness and trust, the silencing of my own internal dialogue and the world’s external soundtrack long enough for the Lord to get a word in… because he can, and he did. The Word, God incarnate, slipped in without a sound and turned things upside down. May God be gracious to us this season as we wait, in quietness and in trust, for his coming again to make all things new.