Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the Lord
you who tremble at his word:
“Your brothers who hate you,
and exclude you because of my name, have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
that we may see your joy!’
Yet they will be put to shame.”
This last chapter of Isaiah is rather disjointed, with seeming mood swings, yet it has some powerful statements that have certainly stood the test of time. The first two verses are a powerful warning to anyone who has an “edifice complex,” that no building we could create would have any intrinsic value before God. Then verses 7-9 are a prophecy of the re-birth of the nation of Israel that was miraculously fulfilled in 1948, thousands of years after Isaiah gave it. However, it is this verse that caught my eye just now. It brings to mind the tradition that Isaiah was horribly martyred, and it is a word of encouragement to those who are humbly faithful to God. Those in rebellion against God mock the Bible, not to mention contemporary prophecy, but those who are true to Him are the opposite, and as it also mentions in verse 2, God is pleased with such people. Modern man forgets that human nature hasn’t changed since the Garden of Eden, and so they fail to study history, and the Bible in particular. How foolish! As has been said, those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it. For example, those currently enamored with socialism have no grasp of its horrible track record over the years, and those who think they can get by without God totally ignore those who have tried that in the past. God is here encouraging those who resist such foolishness, pointing out that the fools will get what they deserve.
I don’t feel like I have endured active persecution, certainly not compared with what so many are going through right now in places like Nigeria, China, India, and North Korea. However, that gives me no excuse not to value God’s Word, however He speaks it to me. At times he has used various people to speak to me, and He has even spoken directly to me a couple of times, but most often He opens the Bible to me. The danger for me comes in my very familiarity with the Bible, because the proverb, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” is all too accurate. I must never take anything lightly just because I’ve read it many times before. I had never underlined this verse, for example, even though I’ve read the whole Bible dozens of times. I need to expect and value God speaking to me and receive what He says with awe that the Creator of the universe would speak to such an insignificant part of His creation. I must never feel contempt for His Word!
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You indeed for Your faithfulness to speak to me day by day. May I take in what You say to me and make it part of me to do it, for the blessing of those around me and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!