Hello friends! Today officially begins the second book of Isaiah, and almost immediately you'll begin to notice a tone shift from damnation to salvation. I'm not gonna clog up this section too much with my own words, but as we start off a new section I invite you (if you have the time) to watch this short (and beautifully done) video from the Bible Project giving an overview of what to expect in book 2.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What does this reveal to me about what was happening in the time or what the people were struggling with?
What does this teach me about the role of the prophet? Has that changed since the beginning?
- My Thoughts -
I have one thought to share on the main passage (Isaiah) and one to share on the Psalm. I'll start with Isaiah. One line really jumped out to me from one of God's messages to the people "To whom or to what can you compare God?" I sort of meditated on that for a few minutes while the audio Bible video was rendering and I was really floored about how difficult it is to talk about God or describe God without using analogies. God is like a father, God like a mother, God is like a old tree in the forest whose roots dig deep into the ground and whose canopy shelters life. God is like an ocean or a rainstorm, or a rainbow or whatever! And while yes, those are beautiful images of God, Isaiah, with a smile on his face looks to us and says "Yes, but God is even more than that! There is nothing you can compare God to."
That reminds me of a story from one of my professors in college. We poured out our praise on her by saying "you're a doctor in theology! You know EVERYTHING about this!" and she laughed and laughed and said "I knew I was a qualified of becoming a doctor in theology when I looked up from my books one day and said to myself "I know nothing about theology."
I've been trying to be better at it lately, but I try not to claim too often "who" God is, "what" God stands for or anything of the like. I know in general terms that God stands for justice, love, mercy, and peace but the finer details I will never know, or will anyone else. Isaiah begs us today with an unanswerable question - to whom can you compare God?
As for the psalm - I really enjoyed this one. This had the flow of a rap song, or a afro-spritual hymn with the frequent repetitions. You can almost hear the echo of a the ancient call and response from a broken and oppressed people living along the shores of the Babylon river proclaiming to their oppressors that they will not be defeated. It's the same thing African American's did in the cotton fields as they sang those beloved tunes. It's the same thing I think we need to sing today in response to what happened at the Capitol. What happened Wednesday is not the America founded by the forefathers. It's not the America that is sealed in the constitution. Wednesday revealed a lot, a lot about race, a lot about division, a lot about insecurity and fear. Of all of that it revealed one thing the brightest - America is hurting and in need of repair. It's not a repair that Joe Biden will fix, or Kamala Harris, or the dumb dumb's in senate. It's a repair that begins with you and me and extends to every other American who joins in together singing like those broken and scared people in Babylon 4000 years ago saying "his faithful love endures forever" "The lord has rescued me" "the lord has given me victory" yes church sing it today: His faithful love endures forever.
The Care the Eagle Gives Her Young UMH 118
(Words below video)
The care the eagle gives her young, safe in her lofty nest
is like the tender love of God for us made manifest
As when the time to venture comes, she stirs them out to flight
so when we are pressed to boldly try to strive for daring height
And if we flutter helplessly as fledgling eagles fall
beneath us lift God's mighty wings to bear us, one and all