Saturday, December 10, 2016
Is. 8:11 For the LORD spoke thus to me while his hand was strong upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over—a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.
The people of God were consumed with great fear which may not have been based in reality. They were constantly imagining all the threats that may have been against them and developing conspiracy theories. The talk and chatter of these theories would stir up dread among the people and a great sense of hopelessness.
The prophet speaks the words of the LORD and helps to redirect the attention of the people. The focus is not to be on conspiracy theories but on the LORD. Our LORD is holy and should be feared or revered, much more so than potential human threats. The vision then moves to one in which we can envision the Christ. He becomes the cornerstone, the one over which people will stumble and be broken. He becomes the place of sanctuary for the people of God, the place in which we may find rest for our weary souls and peace to replace our fears.
It seems that conspiracy theories are all the rage. The sad part is that conspiracy theories lead us to believe the very worst of people and then, we begin to think that we know what they are thinking. To be honest, my husband and I have done that to each other a few times in our married life. We’ve actually gotten frustrated at one another over what we thought the other one was thinking — when that wasn’t what they were thinking at all. Fear, anger, frustration — all born out of an unbridled imagination.
Frozen by fear that is brought on by conjecture alone inhibits us from being the holy people of God. Our trust is not in the human systems of this world, but our trust is in the LORD of hosts. This doesn’t make sense to those who want to receive all of their answers from the material world. In that sense Jesus really does become the stone over which they stumble. A personal encounter with the Messiah shatters our understanding of that which will save us in the time of need. He becomes the sanctuary in the time of difficulty and our shelter so that we need not fear. The conspiracy theories of this world are almost nonsensical to God.
We can live in fear of the daily news cycle, or we can place our faith upon the Cornerstone which causes the things of this world to fall and be broken. I would rather put my trust in the LORD than worry about and fear the things of man.
Lord, thank you for your incredible gift, the Cornerstone of peace and rest. Amen.