Isaiah 8:16–9:1 (NLT): 16 Preserve the teaching of God;
entrust his instructions to those who follow me.
17 I will wait for the Lord,
who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob.
I will put my hope in him.
18 I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion.
19 Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.
Hope in the Messiah
1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
We look to the past for wisdom and for answers, but God sends often sends us signs in unfamiliar promises for the future. The signs in Isaiah are centered around a child named Immanuel, the hope of Israel – but what can a child do? Is it not wiser to seek out the counsel of the great leaders of the past than to hope that this child will somehow lead us into a better future?
Children are untested, underdeveloped… there are too many uncertainties with them. We certainly want them in our life, but we do not want to hand them the keys to our cars, our credit cards, or the mantles of leadership in our businesses. No, children need to know their place until we deem them worthy of the role reserved for adults. We prefer them seen and not heard. They are, and may always be, the greatest perpetual minority group in our world.
Our battles over rights regarding gun laws, marriage laws, rarely take into consideration the voice and effects on children. With minds like thirsty sponges, they soak up everything we show and tell them because they just want to know – and we take advantage of that to download our own points of view onto them, the ways we wished we viewed the world instead of helping them to safely see the messy world for the way it is.
Every generation bears its own blessings and curses and finds ways to separate and dinstinguish themselves from those who go before them. Ultimately, I think it is a miracle we have not completely messed up an entire generation yet… and therein lies Isaiah’s point. Try as you might, you will not take control back from God… indeed the tiny mouth you are spoonfeeding today, will be spoonfeeding you tomorrow. Can we see God working in and with them today?
- Who are the children in your life?
- Where do you see God in them?
- If they are messengers of hope from God, what should your response be to them?