Wednesday 18 December 2013

Bible Book:

Isaiah 54:1-10 Wednesday 18 December 2013


Today's passage ends with a vivid extended metaphor, echoes ofwhich can be heard throughout the Old Testament: the relationshipbetween God and God's own beloved people seen as a marriage, withall its commitments, risks and joys. That relationship has beenthrough some very hard times, but here is the prospect of peace,harmony and intimate fellowship.

The prophet begins this chapter with a stirring call to prepareambitious plans for growth in territory, in numbers, in prosperity,or in community contentment. It is easy to overlook the subtletieshere. Are we talking reality here, or is it imagery? Is this a realprediction of physical growth and abundance, or is this talk ofexpansionism itself a metaphor for something else?

It is at this point that the unifying role of these laterchapters can be seen, in 'drawing together' the message of theentire book . The call of God is to proclaim to all the nations themessage of blessing, even at the cost of suffering, ridicule anddeath.

Verse 7 begins with a reference to time. God's calculation of "abrief moment" suggests that our human sense of waiting owes itsorigin to the constraints of our human existence. Our sense of timeis in sharp contrast to God's.

To Ponder

  • How do you react to the idea that Isaiah's announcement ofprosperity might represent something other than worldlywealth?
  • When Isaiah talks of the call of God to 'proclaim' his blessingto all the nations. To what extent is this just a matter ofwords?
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