Our Bible passage today is Isaiah Chapter 6 verses 8 to 13, as we continue the account of Isaiah’s call.
After the brilliant response of Isaiah as he expressed his willingness to go and speak for the Lord ‘Here I am. Send me!’, what a bolt from the blue to be (fore)told that the response to his commission would be basically negative, a hardening of hearts. As Isaiah spoke out God’s words of judgement and hope, God’s people would end up with closed eyes, ears and hearts (vs.9-10).
And when Isaiah understandably asks ‘For how long, O Lord?’, the answer is until the people go into exile (v.12). They were going to have to lose absolutely everything that they had been promised and given before they would listen and return.And yet really importantly, there is a glimmer of hope that amongst the stumps that are left there is the holy seed of a faithful remnant, out of which the nation will grow again (v.13).
And if we think that this is completely unfair for Isaiah to have been given such a fruitless mission, let us fast forward to the ministry of Jesus Himself as He speaks to His disciples after telling the Parable of the Sower (see Matthew Chapter 13 verses 10-17 – do look it up).Answering His disciples’ question about why He speaks in parables, Jesus quotes exactly verses 9 & 10 of this passage, saying that this prophecy is being fulfilled. Even though the people of Jesus’ time were in the presence of the most wonderful and authoritative Teacher ever, because the message contained in the parables was sometimes a bit enigmatic, needed a bit of effort to tease it out, rebellious eyes, ears and hearts were taking over and many wouldn’t respond.
However, there were some like the disciples who did want to hear and understand (Matthew Ch.13 vs.11-12, 16-17), and so there is always a glimmer of hope amidst the disappointment that some will be faithful, to repent and believe.And the same is true for the church throughout the ages as it preaches the Gospel, there are many blind eyes and deaf ears, (we shouldn’t be surprised or disillusioned), but some will respond, there is always hope.
From our church address list, please remember in your prayers today,
Sharon & George, Roger, Sue and Daniel.
I am taking a few days off next week, so the daily email will stop during that time and resume on Monday 20th September.