In Isaiah Chapter 8 in the midst of the judgments of God against the local and foreign powers for forsaking God comes the greatest promise ever. Echoes of Eden continue to ring out true here as the judgment for the fall had come and the pain of sin was revealed, so was the subsequent solution of a promised Savior. Preceding in chapter 7 was the prophet’s daring cry of the arousal of God to sin in demanding the king to ask the Lord God for a sign to show His full compassion and power over wickedness. The king refuses not believing God could possibly bless in such dire straits revealing the utterly hardened state of his soul in refusing God’s redemption and ever tempting the wrath that was to come, but God’s heart shone in the darkness to reveal His pleasure and plan in such persistent and vile refusal of His love. Now that’s mercy! The pain is subsided as God calls for the virgin to give birth–the birth of all births that will end in such tragedy and travail bringing the entirety of God’s kingdom to its lowest possible point only to rise from the ashes to unveil the grand wisdom and design of such unending love in the highest sense! Life spills forth from the very dregs and depths of the darkest of deaths! Eternal life and the light of all humankind!
Chapter 8 carries the momentum of this majestic message once more while the floods and waters rage; the storms surge; hopes are crushed; many stumble; the atrocities of tragedy mount up on high! In all of this, comes a glimmer to light a darkness so thick it suffocates the reader into shame and absolute despair to drown in an almost damning depression that seems to defy even the most heinous of demonic diatribes! One word shimmers lighting the way of escape for a sorrow and despair that was beyond the shrieks and shakes of even the most mad of beings supernatural or otherwise! This is the context of the blessed and melodious syllables of the only true God who spoke into the darkness and proclaimed, “Light!” at the dawn of our current creation and there was such a glorious and grandeur of conception in the midst of such gloom! One word? One name! “O Immanuel!” (in verse 8.)
The struggle brings humanity to its most humble beginnings. Not once or twice, but thrice verse 9 screeches the repeated yet wretchedness of the state God’s people. “Shattered!” “Shattered!” Yea once more, “Shattered!” and the plans of flesh are thwarted and nothing can stand before the Holy One; yet He speaks once more into the despair! Why can one not stand? Why are we left so undone? Why must it be so? Why?
In the remaining of the verses of the chapter we are warned of relying upon others and holding to conspiracies! We are not to dread the moment! Why, one must still cry with what little may be left of hoarse and withered whispers after such appalling tragedy? Why?
Verse 10 tells us, “for God is with us!” Verse 14 continues, for “He is our sanctuary!” Verse 16 reverberates it is His Word and His disciples who are to wait upon the Lord (v. 17). The promise comes to fruition as we become the “signs” this world so desperately needs!
As a nation in the midst of decision faces one of the worst storms in its history and so many only see the darkness, judgments, and utter gloom as one conspiracy is hailed above another, remember our calling! God is with us! We are His sign in the midst of this present darkness to lead those who would come to Him! To bind up the brokenhearted and to rebuild the old waste places–beauty for ashes (Is. 61).
All of us at Lord Jesus Ministry here in Asia are praying for you knowing the great tragedy you are all facing. Even as a cyclone of much smaller significance has hit India just last night in the south causing us to share in your pain, we also remember the 2009 storm which hit our region and how you responded with your love, prayers, and support! We remember your constant and ever faithful persistence down through the years in reaching out with God’s love to so many for so long! We know how you the people of the middle class are the biggest givers and how the US is chief in helping others in disaster all across the globe even rebuilding enemies after wars. We know how you have stood with so many of the poor in your own nation while never forgetting the many all across the world in their time of need! You work very hard for your money and invest it very well in those who need it most! And now you are being hit hard, and we come to you with our love & prayers to support you–hoping you are inspired as we very well know without a doubt you will once again rise!
O how you suffered when terrorists struck 11 years ago only to see this storm damage you once more. You have faced so many storms in recent years and are weakened by the current global crisis, yet you continue to lead as God’s signs in the desolation and despondency of the god(s) of this world being the signs of the one true God of love, grace, and mercy found at the cross in Jesus Christ!
Thank you for all you do! Know we too are standing with you most especially in this hour and these days! We believe God will help you to be His best spokespersons for His plan in a world on the brink of destruction with all its misery and dejection. When evil has come you continue to overcome evil with good! We are blessed to be in such company! You are such a HUGE blessing to us. A blessed inspiration indeed! We are praying for each and every one in the grip of the terror of such a massive storm whether a victim or a volunteer to bring God’s victory and triumph over trials! We stand with you as you have continually stood with us! God Bless you! We are ever praying for you! We are also asking everyone around the world to join us in prayers as one tragedy after another keeps happening. We were greatly encouraged to hear in the news of others’ response around the world in support of America at this time. This is a time to realize God is in our midst to bring us all together in unity and fellowship with Him and each other!
Just as many today cannot recall the name of the king who brought the tragedy to God’s people in chapter 8 of Isaiah, Hurricane Sandy will also be forgotten in the days ahead. As Chapter 9 of Isaiah ushers in the promise of our Immanuel to come and is ever remembered since its fulfillment, so it will be proclaimed in unending praise throughout all of eternity as all catastrophe is replaced by His Christ! This is the word of the Lord indeed! Amen!