Neck-high trust

Isaiah 8:1-15
There’s a lot happening in the background by the time we get to Isaiah 8.

At this point, it’s fair to ask who is Immanuel? Was the prophet’s son to be the sign promised from God? Also, Isaiah told King Ahaz the promise of Immanuel in Isaiah 7. Now, in chapter eight, Isaiah has a new or renewed promise. This one is for all the people to see and hear. How do the two visions pertain to the king and to the people?

We could explore, too, the mention of a prophetess, assumed to be Isaiah’s wife. Is her role the same as Isaiah’s? And that’s not even getting into the ongoing war surrounding this narrative.

These are the kinds of things we learn from studying the Bible.

Wars and prophecies may not seem relatable to you. But keep learning. Ancient people of faith had struggles and needed to make decisions of faith. You do, too. And there are connections between theirs and yours. That’s part of the wisdom of learning and reflecting on scripture.

At the heart of the vision of Isaiah 8 is trust. Would the king trust God? Trust God enough to not depend on political tactics to save his people? That’s an easy connection for us to make to our life, right? Will the church trust God enough to depend on the mission God gave us or on our own schemes and ideas?

Would the people who heard Isaiah’s vision trust God? Would you? The automatic response of us people of God is to say yes. Praise the Lord we have learned to trust in God. We are learning to trust.

Good. We’ll need to.

Isaiah’s vision seems to include two parts. Both involve Assyria’s power. Assyria will be God’s instrument of judgment against Israel’s enemies. Like a mighty river, Assyria will drown them. That sounds like a victory for the people of God. It is. But it is not without burden for them also.

Those mighty waters “will rise above” Israel’s enemies. They will also “sweep on into Judah as a flood.” Judah won’t drown. But the water will “reach up to the neck.”

Most of us know the words of the poem “Footprints in the Sand.” It’s so popular I once had to convince a youth it wasn’t in the Bible. It’s good to trust God along the shore. The Lord carries us, amen?

Can you trust God in neck-high water? Some say that’s the only time you really know what you trust.

Now, I don’t wish for neck-high conditions for any of us. We should reflect, though, on what it is we trust about God. If those conditions do come, I want us to have neck-high trust.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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