“But the Lord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” (Isaiah 7:13-14 ESV).
I cannot get away from the vastness of our God in this study. If I obey, He has a plan and a promise. If I disobey, He has a plan and a promise. If I focus on Him, He has a plan and a promise. If I forget Him, He has a promise. Wherever I turn, He is there.
In this passage, the first thing I noticed was the “stone of offense” line. It always reminds me of that lyric from “Meditation/Baptism” from Michael Card’s brilliant project, The Life. Well, I guess that song actually reminds me of this verse. Our God is a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling. When I was young, I always assumed this was addressed to non-believers. And it made sense. An all-powerful Savior that dies. God born as a baby. Of course it would cause stumbling. But reading it this time, I realize that God is addressing Israel, His people. We are the ones who will be offended and who will stumble. That changes the meaning fairly drastically.
The second thing I noticed was that He is not just a stone of offense, but is also a sanctuary. God is always complete. He is never just angry, not just justice. He is never only mercy, just grace. He is always both. He is never only Father, Son, or Spirit. He is always all of them. So if we recognize Him, worship as only one of His attributes, we are worshipping an idol. It is not the true God. It seems like a heady, theological argument, but it’s really not. It really applies all the time. Every time God is our judge, He is also our lover. There is great comfort to be found in that. Every time He is our guide, He is also all-knowing. There is great confidence to be found in that. Every time He is gracious and graceful, He is also hating every bit of our sin. So, His love is not an empty overlooking of our mistakes, but a passionate, overwhelming love that completely understands who we are, what we’ve done and loves us anyway.
2 thoughts on “Promises, Pt. 20”
“So if we recognize Him, worship as only one of His attributes, we are worshipping an idol.” This is something I’ve never heard before, and it’s compelling.
“…and He loves us anyway.” But what does that love look like? Will we always recognize it as love? Or will it sometimes look like something else to us?
*May we come to know Him well, and may His truths fill our hearts, minds and lives.* Praying for you friend. Tess
“His love is not an empty overlooking of our mistakes, but a passionate, overwhelming love that completely understands who we are, what we’ve done and loves us anyway.” This is a wonderful explanation of the gospel. This is the kind of love everyone is desperately searching for–one that completely understands who we are (that’s huge!) and love that overwhelms us with its passion, no matter what we have done or will do.
This is a picture of the kind of love God intended in a marriage relationship so that painful growth is nurtured by overwhelming love.
Ah . . . the more you dig into the heart of God, the easier it is to understand that His temporary wrath is just evidence of the depths of His everlasting love.
Todd, your song “Wait for Your Rain” is such a powerful message of God’s amazing grace and love. “I throw my filth on the grace of One whose beauty is beyond me . . . and I wait for Your rain to fall, the waves of Your grace to wash over me.” These words and the truth behind them just blows me away!