TODAY’S READING: ISAIAH 29-31
“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!'” – Isaiah 30:20-22
A teacher that was hidden is now seen, or made manifest. But, the teacher calls from behind you, “This is the way.” Therefore to go the way of the teacher you have to turn or repent. Having repented, it is then that you get rid of your idols and no longer worship them. Instead you worship the teacher.
This passage of scripture immediately called to my mind Jesus. He had been working all through history, but he was hidden. Then, the word, the son of God, became flesh. He was manifested. He could be seen. And, when he was manifested, Jesus showed everyone how he could be seen in all the scriptures, the law and the prophets.
This passage of Isaiah also brought to my mind the scene in Revelation 5. John is looking for one to open the sealed scroll. John could not find anyone in heaven, on earth, or under the earth to open the scroll. So, he wept.
But, John heard an angel cry out, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” When John looked he saw “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.”
John heard about the Lion but when he turned to the throne he saw a slaughtered lamb standing. John knew of the Lion of Judah. This lion was like the teacher that was hidden. But, when John turned to the throne to see the lion, the truth was revealed. Instead of a lion, he saw a lamb. The teacher that was hidden was now revealed.
It was as if John had heard a word behind him, “This is the way.” Our way forward, our way to victory is the lion, which implies strength, power, force, violence. To us, to progress forward and bring the kingdom of God to the earth is the way of the Lion.
But, we have to hear to the teacher, who is behind us. He calls from behind us saying, “This is the way.” And, when we turn to see who is calling, we see not a lion, but a slaughtered lamb. Instead of force, power, strength, and violence, we see that the way, the true way to bring the kingdom of God to earth, is sacrificial suffering – love.
It’s fascinating that this way of love is behind us. The truth is 180 degrees the opposite of what we expect, what our natural mind tells us.
The true lion, the king of beasts, that slaughters is actually a slaughtered lamb.
True reigning is serving.
True power is weakness.
True living is dying.