“I will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem, until her righteousness shines like a bright light and her salvation, like a flaming torch.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Do you know who the most impatient person in the world is? A four-year-old with something to say. I think we all know that feeling of having a message burning in our chest and needing so badly to get it out that we almost can’t stand it. As frustrating as it can be living with someone like that, we can all admit that it’s a miserable feeling. Do you know who else has that feeling beyond young kids who haven’t learned well how to evaluate the actual importance of what they have to say? God.
The people of Israel in Isaiah’s day were off track. Big time. They had abandoned the faithfulness to God’s covenant that had been the hallmark of their relationship with Him. They were pursuing false gods and empty worship, and injustice was flourishing in the land. God knew this wasn’t the way that was going to lead them to life. He knew it and like a toddler with something to say, His message of judgment, redemption, and restoration was burning in His chest. The problem was: They weren’t listening.
Well, what does that impatient young person do when she doesn’t think anybody’s listening? She begins to repeat herself and get louder with each repeat until you can’t ignore her any longer. That’s a little like what God did. He sent prophet after prophet with the same message: I love you and you need to get back on track. He spoke through prophets, but He also spoke through the natural consequences of their actions. He spoke through miracles. He spoke through dramatic rescues and healings. He spoke through judgments that couldn’t be ignored. He spoke and He spoke and He spoke until they couldn’t ignore Him.
And why? Because He loved them. He loved them and He knew He had something to say they needed to hear. His words would lead them to life and He wanted them to live. He had created them to be reflections of His own life. If they were doing anything other than that, they weren’t being who they were made to be. He couldn’t, He wouldn’t stand for that. So He spoke.
Do you know what else? He’s still speaking. He created you and me for life. He created us to be shining reflections of His own life. When we get off track with that, He’s going to let us know. He’s going to speak in all kinds of ways: the Scriptures, the church, prayer, His Spirit into our hearts, other believers, circumstances, “chance” encounters, strangers with messages even they don’t understand, dreams and visions, and the list goes on.
Our God has something to say. The question is: Are we listening? Are you listening? Are you paying attention? What are you hearing? If you’ll receive them, His words will lead you to life; to the life that alone is truly life. If you try and ignore Him, He’ll just keep on speaking and getting louder all the time until you can’t ignore Him anymore. So pay attention. What you hear today may just be the call to life you’ve always been waiting to receive.