Prophetic Visions; October 20, 2022

Isaiah 24:14 They raise their voices, they shout for joy;
from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.

It must be emotionally exhausting to have prophetic visions. From the beginning of this chapter the picture is very bleak. To use the title of a category of fiction, it is “post-apocalyptic,” but then Isaiah abruptly goes into this flash of glory, of joy, before crashing again in verse 16. Human existence is a collection of contrasts and we aren’t really equipped to experience it all at once, the way Isaiah seems to have done here. God sees it all at once, and when we are close to Him we can get glimpses of it, but daily faithfulness, though seemingly tedious, is much easier for us to deal with than what Isaiah and other prophets went through. We may think we really want to see what’s coming next, and some people spend enormous time and energy pouring over Revelation and Daniel and Ezekiel, wanting to see what is coming, but Jesus said very clearly that it is the person devoted to daily faithfulness that is rewarded. (Luke 12:42-44) As David said, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4) If the Lord gives us visions, we are to seek Him as to what to do with/about them, but our goal is to be obedience to Him, whatever that means or doesn’t mean.

I have experienced the Lord in numbers of ways, but prophetic visions haven’t been included in that. I’m actually relieved! Isaiah is my favorite book in the Old Testament (though Psalms gives it plenty of competition) but I’m thankful not to have been called to the same ministry as Isaiah. I’m sure that he was at times considered to be insane, and tradition tells us that he was eventually martyred by being sawed apart. That’s hardly an easy life! There are some who have lauded me for my faithfulness, but I hardly think I’ve got bragging rights compared to people like Isaiah! I haven’t been shown the future, and I’m satisfied with that – I think! There are moments when I would like to know, but I have learned that understanding the next step I am to take is sufficient. The big question isn’t what happens a year from now, but whether I am obedient right now. The reward I seek is the simple statement, “’Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)

Father, thank You for this reminder. You’ve been saying similar things to me a good bit recently! I don’t know what it all means, but help me be at peace with whatever You show me, and most importantly, help me respond as You desire, so that Your will many be done in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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