3 December 2013

Isaiah 42:18-25

"Listen, you that are deaf; and you that are blind, look up and see!" (v. 18)


The Hebrew view of God sometimes attempts to describe God in very human terms because God is recognised as personal and not just a sublime, changeless being. God is beyond us, yet involved with us. The silence of God represents his loving restraint until the moment is right - not any uncaring remoteness. Isaiah speaks of God as acting with pains and pangs like a woman in childbirth because God cares so intensely for God's own people.

The "blind" are the helpless exiles that cannot see a way out of their darkness of captivity. God's light will break out for them and they will return to their beloved homeland by a direct route across the desert that will - to the eye of faith's imagination - involve the hills flattening and the valleys rising to give them a level path for their safe return.

When our horizons seem to be blanked and ways to resolve issues and forge a way forward seem frustrated - we can prayerfully wait for God to reduce obstacles and show us the way. New light will be given to help us to see ahead.

In verse 19 we see that the one who is blind and deaf is strangely "My (God's) servant" and "My apostle". Lack of current insight may make the going tough but God has a plan and will clear the way. We shall be better servants and apostles because we have learnt to wait for new light.

To Ponder

  • Think of an occasion in your life when you saw mega roadblocks on the way to progress when God had already demonstrated how they can fall like a pack of cards. How can you use that experience to help you now and in the future?

Bible notes author

Revd John Walker

Revd John Walker is a Methodist minister and Chair of Chester and Stoke-on-Trent Methodist District. The district is showing signs of new life through a variety of fresh expressions of Church and has over 100 lay employees working in partnership with ministers.