-by Pastor Ashley Brown
The Thematic Heart of Isaiah
In many ways, chapters 32-35 sit at the thematic heart of Isaiah. And the theme, in particular, “Behold your God!” looms large in these chapters. Isaiah begins by declaring of God’s people,
Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty! (Isaiah 33:17)
And the king of whom Isaiah speaks is the one who delivers God’s people. He is the one who insures that righteousness dwells in the Land. This of course, poses the question: who is this king of whom Isaiah speaks?
Who Is this King?
The answer comes in Isaiah 33:22
For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.
The LORD is the king whom God’s people are called to behold. He alone has authority to pronounce condemnation or deliverance. He alone outlines the standards and commands which govern the lives of His people. And His authority alone demands our absolute allegiance. We trust Him alone to deliver us! He is the source of all of our satisfaction, self-worth, and security for the future! He is the One we behold! At He, by His very nature, is good news!
How Do God’s People Respond?
Truly beholding the LORD, of course, prompts a call to response. It is not sufficient to simply recognize the goodness of our King. God’s people are to reorient our very lives in accordance with His good news – His gospel. Isaiah 35:3-4 concisely records this call to response.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
The essence of a proper response is to fix our eyes on God (Behold your God!) and stay the course (strengthen weak hands and feeble knees)! This what Isaiah calls God’s people to do in his own day. It is also what we, as God’s people, are called to do today. Hebrews 12:1-3, 12…
Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. …Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees…
We are to behold our King, our LORD, King Jesus! We are to fix our eyes on Him and run toward Him with all of our being!