Friday, July 6. Isaiah 7 – 9

    The problem with religion – even Christianity – is that in its practice, it is often difficult to hear the important over the cacophony of competing and confusing voices.

    But then again, it has always been that way.

    Remember the story of Jehoshaphat and Ahab (1 Kings 22).  The kings wanted to make war with Syria, but they didn’t know if it was the Lord’s will.  They consulted the prophets of Israel – 400 of them – who assured them of victory.

    The prophet Micaiah, however, said otherwise.

    Who to believe?

    The same is true in Isaiah’s day.  Isaiah is forecasting doom.  Others (prophets, soothsayers, spiritists) are forecasting prosperity.

    Who to believe?

    Isaiah answers with one of my favorite verses: “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (8:19-20).

    The Bible of Israel’s day would not have said: “This is what is going to happen this year, or next.”  What it did say was: “If you do not follow the Lord, this is what will happen – eventually and inevitably.”

    We have a tough time understanding it sometimes, but the Bible, and only the Bible, is the reliable will of God.  If someone speaks anything other than what it says, “they have no light of dawn.”