Day 272

Prayer for the day

I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.

Scripture for the day

Isaiah 7-8, Ephesians 2

Every once in awhile, the scriptures chronicle the call of God on a prophet to enact a prophetic act. The prophet is called to do something that will stand as a sign to the people of God or to other nations, speaking in metaphor about what God is doing or will do.

Isaiah is called to name a child. The child is not yet even conceived when the LORD asks Isaiah to write down the name of the child, and after doing so, Isaiah conceives the child with the prophetess. The child is named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. “Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey” is the name of the child, a child who stands as a witness to the coming destruction. God is going to use the Assyrians to sweep through the nation and to enact his justice.

It is easy in this situation to forget that this is an actual child, loved and cared for, and that this child does not exist simply as a sign. It cannot be forgotten, however, that this child’s primary purpose was to be a sign. Isaiah understands this, and states that even he exists largely to point to the God who acts.

Paul makes a similar statement in the Second Testament when he refers to the choice and work of God in his life and in the lives of the various people with whom he works. Paul recognizes that the choice of God is not because of his incredible worthiness, but is reliant on God, and that God’s choice is enacted to glorify God, to point to God, and to see people turn to God. In short, the choice of God in Paul is designed not merely to benefit Paul but to act as a signpost to the God who chose.

May you point well.


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