Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Remembering the Future

Remembering the Future
Looking forward with hope is active resistance the experiences of life. The longer we live, the more we experience the pain, discouragement, disappointment and seeming hopeless of life. People disappointment us. We disappointment ourselves. Nothing lives up to the hype.

Isaiah realized that he was a man of unclean lips and he lived among a people of unclean lips. The very people chosen to reveal the goodness and glory of the Creator could not. They were flawed and failed. Their kingdom split and their history is not a story of ever-increasing glory but a story a darker and darker defilement. They fail God. They fail the world.

Isaiah exclaims that the people have “turned away backward.” They’ve become a desolate nation full of corruptors. They abuse one another. They oppress the weak. They forsake the fatherless. In other words, they look a lot like our world today. Looking around at our world of war, we cannot help but see ripples of unfaithfulness and broken relationships.

Nations war against nations. And this war is not limited to one or two or three geographical regions of the world. We are all at war. We war with our neighbors. We war with our friends. Even in the family and the church we see pain and betrayal. The places that should be provide a place for love to flourish sometimes foster the deepest violations of intimacy. It is easy to become bitter, hurt and lose hope that life can really be meaningful and love can truly prevail.

Facing this dark world, Isaiah remembers. By the grace of God, he remembers the faithfulness of God. He remembers the promises of God. He remembers the longsuffering of God. Looking back through the story of Israel’s failures, he also sees another picture. The longsuffering God prevails upon His people again and again.

Our friends may fail us. Our country may fail us. Our lovers may fail us. We have failed us. For if we are truly honest, we have also failed the people around us. Yet this longsuffering God is still at work in our world and our lives.

In the midst of a bleak, yet honest vision of human failure, we need God’s grace to remember rightly. As we remember His longsuffering, we remember that grace has prevailed and will prevail in our lives and our world. Like Isaiah we see beyond the bleak disappointments of life and learn to hope.

As we wait and long for the fullness of love, let us remember the future with Isaiah and behold the longsuffering love of God prevailing in our families, our culture and our world.

Isaiah 2:2-5
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the LORD’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,

“ Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob, come and let us walk
In the light of the LORD.

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