February 21, 2019

Today you should read: Isaiah 4

As we open Isaiah 4, one commentator summed up this scene in verse one perfectly,

“This verse brings to a high point the horrors that were to come. War has always resulted in the decimation of the male population. For example, approximately one million French, one million German, and half a million English male soldiers died in World War I. So many men would die in Israel that women would be desperate for male companionship and support. They would be willing to humiliate themselves to escape the reproach of being unmarried and childless. Long gone is the hope to gain a man through seduction of the eyes (cf. 3:16). Now even begging and pleading would be ineffective. Women providing their own food and clothing is the reverse of God’s intention in marriage (cf. Exod. 21:10). Likewise women taking men’s places and leading them, as Eve led Adam (Gen. 3), illustrates a desperate situation.” (Constable’s Notes, https://netbible.org/bible/Isaiah+4)

Although verse one doesn’t seem radical to our modern ears, there was great shame associated with the declarations of these women. Sin had left Israel in such poor estate that it would take generations to “wash away the filth” and “cleanse the bloodstains.” Yet, that’s exactly what God would do.

“That day” in verse two, refers to a future day when the Lord would fulfill his covenant promises by creating something “beautiful and glorious,” something of “pride and honor.” Isaiah refers to the “branch of the Lord,” which refers to Israel, but also used as a Messianic title elsewhere.  Ultimately, God’s Messiah would “create” a “booth for shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.”

Scripture often refers to sin as a “pit.” To use a more modern phrase, quoting Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” At first, sin feels good, but as days turn into months and months into years, the consequences of sin bring devastation and heartache. It’s also amazing to see sin’s grip, and how trapped a person can become in the consequences of choices made outside of God’s Wisdom.

In high school, a good friend of mine was driving while listening to Frank Sinatra. You might be asking how many high school guys listen to the Rat-Pack, but, he did. I can’t remember if it was inattention or a slick road, but he described the scene of driving off the road in a sharp turn. He was blasting the song “My Way” by Sinatra. “I planned each charted course, Each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way.” As it turned out my friend’s “way” was, instead of following the road, careening down a steep hill toward the back of a house in the “rich” neighborhood in a mid-90’s Dodge Neon.

Sin has a way of making wrong turns seem right. Our way, instead of following God’s Way, leads to devastating and costly consequences. Ultimately, those consequences lead to shame and humiliation and only God-sized intervention can lift a person out of the pit of sin. In that place, it’s hard to imagine something “beautiful and glorious,” bringing “pride and honor,” but that’s exactly what God wants to do.

Don’t respond in the comments, but what in your past still brings shame when it comes to your mind? Have you confessed it as sin before God (1 John 1:9)? What you should respond in the comments is: how has God, through Christ, set you free? You might still be suffering consequences, but where have you seen victory?

*Just in case anyone is wondering about my friend. He was fine. He had just enough traction to aim for a tree instead of the house. I think he still even drove that Neon for years after. So many people had gone off the road there that the city of Richmond finally installed a guard rail.

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

One thought on “February 21, 2019”

  1. So many thoughts as I read this:
    1. ALL three of our (now adult – gasp!) children listen to Rat Pack music (and more) thanks to Tim’s parents! It’s so fun to watch them sing along in front of older folks and see the jaw-dropping reaction!
    2. We bought my aunt and uncle’s Neon when the girls were in high school! It was red and a standard and ADORABLE! Each daughter drove it in her turn but it eventually got totaled (I won’t name names). We still miss it.
    3. I could fill pages and pages with stupid things I’ve “worshipped,” and to be honest, this includes grandchildren. . . just sayin. . . but God continues to draw me back to Him and has blessed our family beyond anything I could ever have dreamed. He is a good God and we are determined to give him all the glory, even if we lose everything tomorrow (or in the next five minutes) because, regardless of what our lives look like on the outside, He is worthy.

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