Thursday, March 27, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 60

When I opened my Bible today I could already feel God's overwhelming hand on my life. With as much turmoil as I have faced in the last few days, today is different. Today I feel as if God Himself has His hand on my shoulder, telling me that everything is going to be okay. I feel as if I have vetted out all I need to vent in terms of my thoughts and fears through personal journaling. I have examined my own failings in that time as well and presented them before God. It's almost like the air is clean between us, and I no longer have to dread the next two weeks as I face doubt once I return from vacation on whether He will provide or not. It is appropriate, then, that we are in chapter 60 of Isaiah today, as it deals with the glory of Zion.

In The Matrix trilogy, Zion is the last human city. It is a place of refuge for humanity and represents a promise of hope for all humanity. This is no coincidence, as the trilogy relies heavily on spiritual and Christian influences. Biblically, Zion has often been a reference for God's Holy City. It is also a place of refuge and hope for humanity because it is where God Himself rules. In chapter 60 we see it as a promise of wealth and riches in a world full of darkness. It is God's reward for His people if we choose to follow Him. It is also a place that sometimes leads to our own arrogance.

12 For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish;
       it will be utterly ruined.

 13 "The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
       the pine, the fir and the cypress together,
       to adorn the place of my sanctuary;
       and I will glorify the place of my feet.

 14 The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you;
       all who despise you will bow down at your feet
       and will call you the City of the LORD,
       Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

 15 "Although you have been forsaken and hated,
       with no one traveling through,
       I will make you the everlasting pride
       and the joy of all generations. – Isaiah 60:12-15

We are part of God's nation once we give our hearts to Him. As we discussed yesterday, however, we are far from perfect even after making this transaction. We often see this glory and think that it automatically means smooth sailing for the rest of our lives. In reality, it is a cycle as we discussed yesterday. We can easily become arrogant when blessings continue to come from God. This can lead to sin and defeat. I admit that recently I have been led to be somewhat arrogant as God continued to bless me up until this past weekend. I tried constantly, every day to deflect the glory on Him of His blessing, but in the end I find myself back in a period of defeat.

It is in this period of defeat that I begin to question God's motives. Why would he do this to me? In the case of this job, I felt I was doing everything right. There was no sign any one was unhappy enough with me to let me go. I gave glory to God, yet I am still here. I consider it a test of my faith, because I could easily turn from God right now and walk away. He didn't give me what I wanted, and He continues to work on His own plan instead of mine. I could easily be the spoiled child here and throw a fit.

I choose not to, however. I choose in this moment to follow God because I know he will provide. In the grand scheme of things this is merely a minor trouble, and one that I have experienced before on multiple occasions. I know there is still the promise of Zion, as mentioned throughout this chapter. Life is full of its ups and downs, but God has shown me on multiple occasions that He is in total control. I may not always agree with this control, as I don't at the moment, but I still follow Him and long to serve wherever He will send me. I did not know until this week that my life could be more confusing that it was. I found out this week it can be, yet God is still in control?


  1. To what extent is control an illusion?
  2. What does God's promise of Zion mean in your life?
  3. How can this promise be a joy even when all seems dark?

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