Thursday, December 02, 2010

knowing God - Isaiah 35:5-6

(fp)

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert
Isaiah 35:5-6
 
When I read this verse, the word that jumped out at me was "then." I wondered, what came just before "then"? 
 
Isaiah 35 contains one of the great prophecies for the long-awaited Messiah. The words just before "then" are: "Here is your God ... He will come and save you." In other words, Have hope! The Savior -- the Messiah -- is coming, and when he comes even the mute shall sing for joy.
 
The advent adventure in this passage comes in the rest of verse 4: the prophet says, "Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! He will come!" Yes, but "he will come with vengeance and with terrible recompense. He will come and save you."
 
Recompense is a word that belongs in the insurance industry. It means to compensate for damage incurred. Sin has wrought terrible damage to our world. The only way to pay for sin was with blood.
 
In other words, Christmas was more than just a Precious Moments' manger scene. It was an invasion. Generations ago in the Garden of Eden, war had been declared. Now, the little town of Bethlehem was like the beaches at Normandy and Christmas was D-Day. 
 
Ask historians ... The war was won that day! Nevertheless, it took 11 more months of brutal battles and mass casualties before the enemy officially gave up. 
 
Nowadays, we'd like to think otherwise, but we're in the brutal battle phase. Through Christ, the victory is already won ... and yet life still hurts. Our parents die and our kids suffer collateral damage. Pray for V-E day. Pray for Christ to come again. And in the meantime, strap on the full armor of God because we're in the midst of the battle.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who had to look up
what recompense meant
(the full armor of God ought to come with a dictionary)
--------------------------------
yes. Life HURTS! and is exhausting. can't i just crawl into the foxhole and wait????

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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