May God Come
Christopher B. Harbin
We like demonstrations of power. We watch specialized sporting events to see those athletes who excel far above others. We watch cars race around tracks at speeds that amaze us. We watch animal predators to see just how much more powerful they are than ourselves. Then in our day to day lives, we pit ourselves against one another to test ourselves and push for supremacy, much as we did as children playing king of the hill or wrestling with friends in the way of puppies or kittens. At some point, we recognize that our power is limited, and we call on the intervention of a parent or some authority figure. Even as adults, we continue to do the same, at times turning to God, expecting God to play the role of superhero come to our aid. Is that the role God really wants to fulfill?
Isaiah longed for Yahweh's coming to earth. He might have been a little afraid, however of just what Yahweh's coming might mean. On the other hand, he wanted Yahweh to make a bold statement of divine presence. He yearned for Yahweh to upset the world order, even to upturn the physical structure of the earth. He wanted God to be more than simply present. Isaiah wanted the world turned upside down by God's decisive initiative, immediate action, and direct interference. He wanted Yahweh to be seen recognized by those who had taken his people into exile to live in subservience. He wanted Yahweh's presence to be noteworthy, filling the Babylonian Empire with dread at the One whose people they had oppressed. He wanted God to come in power, in victory, in a definitive manner all would recognize.
This was the common frustration by many who believe in God, but to not see God quite the way they want God seen. I should say, our common frustration. We want God to be visible in a much more palpable way than we have most often experienced God. We want to see signs and wonders, but not on a small scale. We don't really want to see miracles in the da ...
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