“Do not trust anyone over 30.” This opinion surrounded me when I was young. We were confident we could remake the world and do a “better job” than our elders had done. It is closer to the truth that we made many mistakes the older generation warned us about, but we refused to listen. We had to learn the hard way.Read More
Are you reading this on a phone? On a friend’s Facebook wall? In an email? Is it starting your day or ending it, or just a chance encounter?
Isaiah seeks out Ahaz as he inspects the aqueduct (v 3), worried about the siege by Jerusalem’s enemies. He has a message to give him, from God.
Is he seeking you out today?Read More fear, God with us, trust
Take your shoes off. This is holy ground. This is the first mention of that name, Immanuel – God with us. This is an impossible, irreligious notion, God with us, not on high, not the great unknown, not an impersonal empty void. God with us, face to face. Job glimpsed it: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” (Job 42:5) It is the great scandal, scoffed by atheists and religious alike: God, a child, a man, one of us.Read More Immanuel, sign, trust
“When that time comes, . . .” (v 1). Most translations use the phrase “In that day. . .” We are right to fear That Day: the day God comes. We didn’t see him coming.
Yet in the in-between, he is with us. He walks with us, if we listen carefully, like Adam in the cool of the afternoon. And we need not hide. We have plenty to shame us, but with God with us, we are clothed, not in fig-leaves of our own making, but of his making: his Son.Read More cross, God saves, that day
It is easy to say God is with us: in the huddle before the match, before the battle, when we send each other to war.
Ahaz is sure “God is with us.” Isaiah is not. Ahaz sheltered under the wings of Assyria, but its talons would pierce him. He is caught in the same snare he laid for his enemies.Read More our influence
Human beings instinctively look for a champion. We search for representative heroes who display the qualities we admire most and place them in a “superhuman” category in our minds. Convinced they are perfect and powerful, we believe they will save us from our distress and fears. We can maintain the illusion of their perfection only if they remain distant from us – characters in print or on screen, but never close at hand.Read More save