11 July 2013

The dead have no answers for the Living.

Scripture: Isaiah 8:18-22, 9:1

   As for me and the children the Lord has given me, we shall be signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of Hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.
   When men tell you to inquire of mediums and spiritists who huddle together and mutter, say to them, Should not a people inquire of their God? Should one inquire of the dead in behalf of the living for doctrine and for a testimony? Surely, while they utter such words devoid of light, they roam about embittered by hunger; and when they are hungry, they become enrages and, gazing upward, curse their king and their God.  They will look to the land, but there shall be a depressing scene of anguish and gloom; and thus are they banished into outer darkness.

But it shall not be gloomy to those who have been in anguish for her. (Her = Israel.) 

Observation: Here, Isaiah is told that the dead--those mediums & spiritists not alive in Christ Jesus--cannot have answers for the Living--those reborn and alive in Him.  And he is taught the oh-so-obvious difference between the dead and living.  The dead are depressed and see only defeat and destruction, while the living see hope, love, and the complete Victory of Christ. :o)

Application:  Have I looked to the worldly, the wise-in-their-own-eyes, the learned & acclaimed expert, the spiritually dead, for answers to my problems?  I most definitely have.  I've spent countless hours, precious and huge chunks of my life reading up on all kinds of things . . . most notably parenting.  I still believe that learning is an important part of this life--and it has brought me a great deal of joy--but I haven't turned to Jesus first in my dilemmas.  I've Googled.  (Ouch.)

But . . . for the last while, about since I began investing significant time in the word . . . I've been finding answers to every last problem I have from the living.  Whether through scripture directly, or in gathering together with other members in the very much alive body of Christ, I've been taught deeper and more effective truths about parenting than I ever learned from any wisdom produced by man.  (Funny, isn't it? ;o)

And, in that same time frame, my outlook has changed drastically.  I've gone from being utterly overwhelmed by the clutter and cleaning that needs doing in my home to feeling hopeful and joyous.  (Much of the time, lest any wrongly assume I've been perfected. lol) Instead of seeing around me "a depressing scene of anguish and gloom", I see hope.  I see love.  I see Jesus' hand moving in my life, sheltering and protecting me, leading and teaching me.

Prayer: Father, keep on teaching me.  Keep on pouring it out so I can be totally immersed in You.  Lend me strength when I weary in this physical world.  Lend me grace so I can do Your will.  Lend me words, so I can speak Your Love into those around me.  And most of all, send Your presence to engulf and shelter me in this day when sanctuary is so desperately sought, and so often not found.  I want to live in the center of Your will for me, and to love others into doing the same.  In Jesus' holy and sacred name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!