Items posted on 18 October 2012
1 Post found

Isaiah 8.11-14 – Relying upon God
Posted: 18 October 2012 in Isaiah

For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Christians sometimes talk as if only the New Testament, rather than the entire Bible, was God’s revelation to us, but here is an example of a consinstency of theme running throughout the whole Bible; we are to rely upon God, and not our own strength. In particular, Israel was not to rely upon the help of other nations, and worshippers of idols, whom God had yet to call out of their sin, and invite into communion with himself. In the above passage Isaiah probably had Egypt in his sights.

One particular New Testament take on the same theme is that salvation is through faith, not through our own works, and that faith comes from God, who alone can save us. The reason that salvation through faith is a comparatively unpopular idea, and salvation by works a relatively popular one, is that the former takes control out of our hands, and makes us subject to the mercy of God.

There are natural endowments which most of us do not possess, such as those necessary to become a successful athlete or musician, and we are thereby constrained from thinking that we can fulfill any role we like – we just do not possess the necessary gifts. Similarly the ability to trust in God is something which only be received as a gift, and it is not something which can be acquired unless it is given.

No comments