Monday, November 25, 2013

Shouting or Ranting?

A voice said, "Shout!" I asked, "What should I shout?" "Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." ~ Isaiah 40: 6-8

There is a distinct difference between shouting and ranting. A rant may contain some truth, but loses its authority because it is often undermined by irrational intensity. All heat and no light. Presenting truth in a harangue causes hearers to shut-down, rather than listen-up.

God shouts, but He doesn't rant. Neither should we.

A voice--God's voice--was urging Isaiah to shout. But the prophet's spiritual sensibilities told him his audience would not tolerate a tirade, so he asked God, "What should I shout?" That's a great question for any who profess to speak emphatically as heaven's spokesperson. Put another way, we should ask: who or what is blowing on the embers in our spirits, before we unleash a fiery gust of exclamation points in ascending decibels? Isaiah, got that settled first.

Through Isaiah, Almighty God was shaking off the dust His beloved had covered Him with.  A vicarious spokesman blew away the shifting sands upon which the Chosen had chosen to stand. Once upon a time God was the bedrock upon which they had firmly stood, and the final word on all they believed. Indeed, Isaiah shouted, but God's breath empowered the prophet's sermon. In a nutshell, God would drop a bombshell. His beloved had become focused on all-things temporal and lost sight of all-things eternal. A prophetic message would change everything. God's Word would once again be the litmus test for all things spiritual, philosophical, and practical.

Isaiah's announcement is desperately needed today. To a great extent, we are witnessing a generation that lives like tasting, touching, seeing, smelling, and hearing is the be all and end all. A world view that says, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. But life in the Kingdom is not just food and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. God alone is our all in all.

A final thought…

To get perspective on Isaiah's message, open your front door or your family photo album. Truth is delivered metaphorically, but shouts loudly. Imagery of brilliant greenery turning colorless, and the young that do not remain ageless. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people...but the word of our God stands forever.

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