I was surprised to open my Bible at Isaiah 16 this morning. Isaiah isn’t a book that I know well despite reading it all through as part of a Bible study group.
Verse 1 says, ‘Send lambs as tribute to the ruler of the land’. I immediately started singing Graham Kendrick’s song Led like a Lamb to the Slaughter.
It seemed really interesting that I should read about lambs today; Jesus representing both a lamb and Good Shepherd holds a great deal of meaning for me. Although I don’t actually think that this verse holds any parallel to Jesus, I mention it nonetheless.
I have never been a fan of festivals such as Easter and Christmas. I much prefer the Jewish/Biblical festivals as described in the Old Testament. For a start I strongly dislike the commercialism linked to both Christmas and Easter. Since 2015 I have found joy in re-discovering the real meaning behind both festivals.
It seems to me as though Isaiah 16 verse 5 is describing Jesus, several years before He lived. It says, ‘In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it – one from the house of David – one who In judging seeks justice and spreads the cause of righteousness.’
What I love the most is the way it describes how the throne is established – in love. The throne is established and won in love. Love wins. Grace wins. Mercy wins. The grave was conquered through the cross. Jesus really has won a victory over all darkness and His light cannot be extinguished. Darkness of sin; darkness of shame; darkness of abuse; darkness of injustice; darkness of oppression; darkness of guilt; darkness of fear; darkness of anger and other negative emotions; and darkness of pain, suffering and loneliness have all been overcome so that they cannot rule over us any more. Jesus has already won the war, we just need to hold onto Him.
I’m not suggesting that those things can no longer enter into our lives, but they no longer have any power. We now have a choice to not let them dominate or control us. We can choose to be angry, we can choose to be afraid. Sometimes we may experience pain for a season, but we don’t have to suffer in it. One day I believe that there will be a full and free end to pain, sadness, suffering, death and all darkness. There will only be things of Light, Truth and Love. But until then we have Abba-Jesus-Spirit to help us through any times of darkness. He helps us to make good and wise choices and teaches us to live in the Light – if we let Him. It’s not easy, but it is simple. It takes courage and determination to follow His Light, His Truth, and His Love. I’m up for the challenge, are you?