"...to whom He said, 'This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,'
And, 'This is the refreshing';
Yet they would not hear.
But the word of the Lord was to them, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept;
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.'
That they might go and fall backwards, and be broken
And snared and caught. "
Studying Isaiah has been seeing a different aspect of the Bible. It gives me the same poignant feeling of rawness that reading about the Holocaust does; the same sense of helpless suffering, of anguish. Yet throughout it all, redeemed by the powerful sense of a God in control, a God who loves even as He judges the evil committed by men against men and against Him. A God of justice as well as mercy. This world and us need both.
I found all the repetitions of precepts and lines more than a little confusing. What on earth was Isaiah trying to convey? And then suddenly after two days of scribbling question marks in the margin of that verse, it suddenly dawned on me. Perhaps it was exactly what we struggle with today.
God calls us to true fulfillment and joy in Him as we were originally meant to have. Rest for the weary. Refreshing, that we long for in our confused, tired, helpless, contrived and complicated little lives.
But we can't see what God offers us as what it is. To our weak eyes it looks like the very opposite of what He says it is and what we want. It looks like just another burden of rules, of expectations to live up to, of trying, of 'legalistic restrictions'. It looks like losing our freedom. It looks like losing our joy (that is, the feeble, shadowy emotion which is all we've known of joy.) It looks, to be honest, absolutely undesirable and unpleasant. Yuckz.
And we fall backwards and are broken, are snared and caught by what we run after instead, what seems so much more worth pursuing to us. And we never even actually get what we want.
And the tragedy is, it was there...just that the sun of everything else that appealed to our imperfect senses and emotions blinded our eyes, and made it look dark and boring and heavy.
When in fact, that was the refreshing we were looking for.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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