“Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6 – 7)
Bible traces the lineage of Jesus back to the earliest history of
God’s called and chosen people. That lineage also includes a long
line of reassurances that stem back to Abraham. At times the called
and chosen people hung on tenuously to that reassurances, keeping it
in the forefront of the minds as they kept in front of the scripture
passages on scrolls, rolled and unrolled on special occasions.
“The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have labored; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts.” (Verses 8 – 9)
This is a poignant reminder for the Israelites what their ancestors suffered through, having the fruits of their labors and efforts taken by others. However, if one would trace back forward from the time of the writer of Isaiah I suspect that their food and wine was taken from them at least once more after this was written. Even more so as the years and generations rolled towards our modern times.
“Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples. The LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, “See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” They shall be called, “The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD”; and you shall be called, “Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.” (Verses 10 – 12)
What is it that reassures humanity the most? The tangibles of possessions and resources? Or the promise that humanity is not left alone in this world? The writer of Isaiah would have us believe that eating the food and drinking the wine that you have gathered and harvested for yourself is a sign of reassurance. And maybe for the Israelites that was so. But we go to the corner store (or its “box-store” equivalent) to buy goods that we have not harvested with our own hands. Is it then having the resources to buy what you need? Maybe for previous generations having buying power was a reassurance. But social conscience pricks modern humanity, and provisions are made for those who have little financial power, and their needs are taken care of.
So maybe it is, really, being watched out for. Having the sense and reassurance that our deepest needs will be taken care of. Verse two of this passage urges the reader to pester the Divine until one’s needs are taken care of. There are those for whom a kind word offers more reassurance the greatest of gifts – well, you know what I mean. We all (or at least a good portion of us) dream of a world where there is no want or need, but that all things are taken care of. Some, politically speaking, are afraid of such a social system or conscience. If the impetus is to provide for all comes from compassion and care that is sparked by the Divine, I do not think such fears are warranted. But that is me. And . . . I digress.
When the Lord God called Abraham out of Ur, the Divine made a covenant with Abraham. It took many years of traveling and patience, but the promises of the Divine came to pass. The Divine also promised humanity that a way would be found to enter into deeper relationship with the Lord God. And that too found it fruition. Now, the onus is on humanity. We must reach out and claim believe in Jesus the Christ and in the Lord God who sent Christ. Have you, beloved reader, claimed such relationship? If not, how much reassurance do you need? And if the relationship has lapsed on your side, how much reassurance must be given until you return to the Divine? In the immediate wake of Christmas will you not renew the relationship. “Demand” that the Divine establishes you in the family of God! Selah!