The Comfort of Hearing and Seeing

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

When someone calls you with a “Listen to me” or “Hear me”, then you usually expect a warning, or a threat, or even condemnation.  Not so in Isaiah 51 where these are words of comfort to people without hope.  Unexpectedly, what was supposed to be a situation of judgment for Israel is turned around with God’s vision of a new reality for them in their relationship with God.  The prophet frequently calls on Israel to hear and see this new reality:  listen, look, lift up your eyes, hear, awake!  This new reality is that “the Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins” (51:3), because He is the big Comforter to those who are in discomfort and afraid (51:12).  It takes more than our physical eyes and ears to see and hear this reality of our lives.  It takes eyes and ears of faith that can see and hear the good news in the midst of apparent distress.  But when we can hear the sweet sounds of God’s salvation despite our messiness, and when we can see the hopeful vision of God’s Kingdom in the midst of a broken world, gladness and joy will overtake us (51:11).  May God bless us today with eyes and ears of faith!


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