So this passage has some of the most beautiful prophecies concerning Christ, both his advent and I’m pretty sure his second coming as well. After all, the curse wasn’t lifted from the predators of the Earth during Christ’s ministry.
I can’t say I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination. The language in these passages confuses me. I don’t know whether that’s the decades of migraines causing permanent damage or the stress of motherhood exhausting my cognitive abilities, but I don’t feel like I have the reading comprehension I once did. Regardless, as best as I can understand, the deliverance they’re going to experience in the next couple of years, the one prophesied in the previous chapters as taking place before an as yet unborn child can learn to speak, is going to be a sign that the rest of this is going to happen.
And the rest of this is everything else. Everything. The complete fall of Israel and Judah. The eventual return of a faithful remnant. The coming of Christ. The second coming of Christ. Everything.
It’s a lot. It’s devastating. It’s miraculous. It’s a lot.
And Psalm 111 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I don’t think that means the intense dread of eternal damnation that so many hellfire and brimstone preachers would have us believe. I think it’s awe at his unfathomable glory, the sense of overwhelming insufficiency that results from considering his nature. I can’t wrap my head around what God is. I can’t wrap my head around how God exists. I can’t wrap my head around anything truly beyond our physical and temporal existence. Something outside of our universe? Above it? Through it? Beyond it? Around it? To which time is… just another unit of measurement like we would use inches? I don’t… I start to feel like my head is going to explode.
So that’s fear. That’s awe. That’s… humbly accepting that everything about God is beyond me, even his love. Thankfully, he likes to use metaphors and parables. He likes to meet us where we are. He likes to make himself known to us in ways we can grasp.
Maybe I’m not wise yet, but at least I think I’ve got a decent beginning. I know I have the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So whatever my reading comprehension, I’ll lean into that.