In reading the book of Isaiah, I get the sense that with the advent of electronic media, we have improved the speed of communication but not the quality of the content. Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun and this passage confirms it. Isaiah describes a nation that is in the midst of political turmoil. Sound familiar?
Here is the situation. The Kings of Samaria and Syria are threatening Jerusalem. The King of Judah is considering an appeal to Assyria for aid against these two kings. Isaiah speaks out against this proposed alliance and gets accused of treason.
Isaiah 8:12–15 (ESV)
12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”
I would like to make a few observations on this text:
- Speaking out against current political wisdom should not be viewed as conspiracy or treason. The error in that day, as is the error in our day, is to ignore God and rely on human wisdom. In current society, there is a drive toward eliminating any reference to God in public discourse.
- The result of conventional wisdom is fear. A survey of political talk radio (left or right) in America demonstrates this. Both sides teach that if the other side gets or keeps power, certain destruction will result.
- The faithful are not to give in to this fear or be in dread. God has not abandoned us or surrendered control.
- If the faithful focus on God and are obedient to him, he will be our protection.
- A majority of people in the culture will not understand this perspective and will view it as treason against the state.
The bottom line for me is that I choose to stay away from political speech that is designed to engender fear. My hope cannot be in the federal, state or local government. We cannot solve our problems without the help of God. We, as believers in the God of the Bible, need to be willing to stand firm and not give in to the fear that conventional wisdom engenders. We need to go against the flow.
I believe that the only thing that can save this nation from the death spiral that Rome and other great civilizations have experienced is a revival, a return to worship of the God of the Bible. The faithful need to place their hope in God alone and pray for revival or the speedy return of Jesus. I’m OK with either of these.