So I can’t really imagine being Isaiah. He had a job, and that job was to tell kings with the power to have him killed that they were wrong and that their kingdoms were doomed. That’s it. I mean, yes, he also got to deliver the promise of hope, but that hope was WAY WAY WAY far away, and the doom was a bit closer and much more personal.
This wasn’t a warning. This wasn’t repent or you will fall. No. This was: You’re gonna fall.
I just can’t imagine being in that position.
I can understand the faith necessary to deliver that message. I can understand believing God would protect him from angry kings and doing as he was told even though it was a pretty audacious task, from a human perspective. I can even understand being frustrated enough living in his time that the message was one he actually wanted to deliver. (Believe me, I can understand that.)
What I can’t really imagine is the scale of it. We’re talking desolation and exile. This isn’t just the line of one king that will end. This is the whole nation will carted away as spoils of war.
How many decent people does he know that are being led astray by heinous leadership? How many decent people does he know who have been denied access to a proper understanding of the covenant? Yes, everyone is responsible for their own choices, but not everyone is as good at thinking critically as some. Yes, everyone is responsible for their own choices, but not everyone is good at questioning authority or challenging the prevailing wisdom.
These fundamentally decent people just trying to the best they can in their small little lives are going to be carted off into slavery because those that knew better made selfish and corrupt and faithless decisions. That is what I can’t imagine facing as Isaiah had to face it.
To be honest, I have a hard enough time dealing with the constant tension between fundamentally decent individuals in today’s political climate. Yes, a lot people on all sides are truly hateful, but a lot of them are legitimately trying to do their best as they’ve been taught to understand it, on all sides. I can’t imagine being told to stand up and tell them all that everyone is going to pay miserably for the sins of the politicians and pundits and profiteers that led us to this point.
Except, we are, I think, all going to continue paying that is. But I’m not Isaiah. I’m not a public figure. I’m not delivering dire news to national leaders. And my hope isn’t in the distant future. My hope came, fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, and dwells within me.
A little rambly today, but these are the reflections running through my mind as I begin reading the book of Isaiah.