Isaiah is such a beautiful book, with beautiful word pictures. Here is part of what I read this morning in Isaiah 54:
6 For the LORD has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
7 For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the LORD, your Redeemer.
I love the picture of God gathering us into His arms with great compassion.
Further on in Isaiah 54 it says,
17no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD
and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”
I found this interesting because I’m still trying to figure out what the writer of Hebrews was saying in Hebrews 3 and 4.
Hebrews 4:11 says, 11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. This is referring back to Joshua and Moses, so I looked up the passage in which they “heard and yet rebelled” which is found in Numbers 14. Here they have received the report about the rich land, but 10 of the spies also report that the land could not be taken because the people that inhabit it are bigger and stronger.
1Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
This was the disobedience that the writer of Hebrews is warning about. It’s doubting God. It’s grumbling against our leaders. It’s complaining. It’s imagining all sorts of horrible things. It’s wanting to go backwards instead of moving forwards.
Joshua and Caleb’s response made me think of the verses in Isaiah.
6And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes 7and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”
“Their protection is removed from them.” Is this so different from “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed“? The giants that are all around us have nothing on us. Their protection is removed. No weapon that is fashioned against us can stand.
With God, we are stronger. His Word is more powerful. With laser precision, He can pierce to the very heart of the problem whether it be spiritual, physical or emotional/psychological. He sees the big picture.
Still more pondering on this passage, but I think I’m getting closer.