"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am! Send me."
And he said, "Go, and say to the people: "Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn and be healed."
The I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until the cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord remove the people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump." (Isaiah 6:8-13)
Hi y'all :)! I am sorry for how quiet things have been around here lately. I have, really, wanted to write, but it has just been hard to actually do lately. Thank you to all those loyal readers who still check in even though there is rarely anything to interest you, haha :).
While reading "The Music of His Promises", by Elisabeth Elliot, over the past few weeks, I found a quote that really stood out to me. Mrs. Elliot tells of how a woman once told her, "I never asked God to make me a servant -not in the literal sense, anyway. I was afraid he would actually do it." I found that confession really thought provoking. There are things we like to shy away from or remain silent about, because to get involved would require work from us. We see a need, and we might look the other way so that we aren't asked to do anything about it.
I read the above passage from Isaiah in my devotions this morning, and I noticed something I had not seen before. "Whom shall I send?', asks the Lord.
Isaiah speaks up right away. "Send me". And then the Lord tells Him what he wants done.
He is to go to the people of Israel, bringing them a message from God. But this message isn't going to bring healing. On the contrary, God tells them they will not hear him or see the things they are being told.
"How long, O Lord?" How long is this disobedience, this refusal to listen to God, this preaching to those who will not hear, to last? The answer? Until the destruction of Israel is brought about.
There was no hope that the nation would turn and be saved from this disaster. It probably seemed pointless to even bother obeying this command. This message would seem worthless to deliver. But Isaiah doesn't change his mind just because there will be no seen rewards. He doesn't need glory, or recognition, or even for his message to be heard by any but God. He just needs to obey. It will require work, it will require heartache over his fellowmen, and it will do no good. The cities will lie without an inhabitant whether he obeys or not. But this is what God is giving him to do, so he will do it. And then the Lord promises that though there is much destruction in the future of the nation, there will still be his chosen remnant. They are small, and weak; they will seem like a tree, felled and burned. But from that seemingly lifeless stump, there will come a new shoot, that will grow until once again they become a tree strong in the Lord.
Isaiah didn't need to know what he was going to have to do before he gave himself to be used by the Lord. And Isaiah didn't need to have something "worthwhile" to do to stay in the Lord's service. Isaiah simply followed the Lord. He wasn't afraid to be a servant.
We can not choose how we serve the Lord. If we refuse to obey what seems to us to require too much, or withhold glory, then we are not truly open to the Lord making us His servants. If we truly want to serve Him, we will choose to do all that he asks of us, no matter how small -or even how hard.