Get on with It!
Christopher B. Harbin
Isaiah 65:17-25; Malachi 4:1-2a; Lk 21:5-19; 2 Thess 3:6-13
It is easy to become distracted. Our nation has industries built for the express purpose of offering distractions at an increasing rate. From television and movies to electronic gaming, to theme parks, concerts, and festivals, we offer distractions from the concerns of living at whatever price one is willing to pay. Sometimes the price is more than we recognize. If we are not careful with our entertainment and distraction, it may take over the center stage of living. Are we at risk of becoming too distracted to worry with serving the One we claim as Lord? Are we still concerned with fulfilling God's will?
When Isaiah spoke of the coming Day of Yahweh, it was not to distract the people from the issues of living life under Yahweh's will. He wrote to encourage and remind them of the ultimate value in following the gracious direction and purposes of Yahweh. Isaiah was tasked with sharing a message that no one wanted to hear--no one except the enemy invaders, that is. He repeatedly warned the nation of an impending doom and that Yahweh was sending them into exile. They would not be able to avoid it with the help of Egypt or any other forces. This was Yahweh's plan to bring them around to serving God as they should already have been doing.
In proclaiming the vision of restoration and a whole new created environment for life, Isaiah was reminding them of the hope inherent in following Yahweh's will. The plans for exile would not dash the hopes of Israel and Judah. Rather, they would prepare a remnant for becoming the redeemed people of Yahweh. Exile would remind them that serving Yahweh was more important than their focus on wealth, power, sovereignty, and comfort. They were called to service, after all, not to dominion. They knew about God. They knew Yahweh's instructions, will, and identity. What they lacked was the carrying out Yahweh's will above ...
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