Bellowed from the heavens, and conveyed through the pen of the Prophet, the recurrent message of redemption—that ‘New Things’ abound—is cast forth. Those whose identities belong to Jacob, to Israel, to the house of Judah, are being saved:
“Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you for your own good,
who leads you in the way you should go.”
~Isaiah 48:17 (NRSV)
A Comprehensive Covenant
The comprehensive covenant of the Lord our God is incisive both ways—the Almighty’s faithfulness and our obedience. The underscored overtone through this chapter, however, is God’s observation of Israel’s alliance—that they say they belong to the Lord—but he observes their skinny obedience, too.
Strict obedience to the Law was impossible. A New Thing was needed.
This ushers grace. Since grace came, by the Lord Jesus and his obedience for us on the cross, our obedience, whilst it is still important, is no game maker or breaker. In other words, the comprehensive covenant—this New Thing Now—covers every eventuality. Our hope is complete in this. We obey because we love God. When we disobey all is not forlorn. Repentance was made for the believer.
The Opening Of Ears, Eyes, Hearts, And Minds
This is the new thing: that at the redemption of our souls by the grace wrought of the Lord Jesus Christ we might enjoy a spiritual fact—the enlivening and quickening of truth over us toward the opening of our ears, eyes, hearts, and minds.
These are critical things for the living of our lives. If we will be opened we will learn. And learning will become our way. Such learning will bequeath us humility. And humility will protect and sponsor our spiritual journey. Through humility, alone, we know the Lord, because of our proximity, spiritually.
Most of all, being open means we’ll have ears, eyes, a heart, and the mind, for truth.
The Purpose In Redemption
What has become cliché is nevertheless true. We are saved to serve. And the believer who does not believe in serving via doing, as a fact of premise in myriad dimension, has missed the point. Conversely, there are those who serve in small, easily achievable ways who understand the eternal thread in being used. They please God.
Being used by God is a tremendous privilege; the opposite reality to being ‘used’ (or abused) by human beings. Being used by God is finding our innate purpose; a thing God calls us to do that we respond with by passion in doing. Life becomes new in doing this thing. Our identities are fused in a sense of wholeness we always dreamt of enjoying.
God is doing a new thing in each of our lives if we abide by faith. Trusting the Lord will ensure we learn the ways of God, and the way we should go. Purpose and meaning are never more confirmed than in following this lead of the Lord.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.