Right, so as part of the “Draw Me Nearer” Bible reading plan on my YouVersion Bible app, I’m trying to lectio divina my way through Isaiah 30:1-17 and the whole chapter of Isaiah 31. The passages are too long for lectio divina, plus they’re not my cup of tea at all.
Isaiah is condemning the people of Israel for:
- Going down into Egypt without consulting God
- Trusting in Egypt’s horses and chariots
- Not seeing the law of the Lord
- Telling people who do see it to shut up about it
- Not seeking the Lord
Your standard “rebellious children” stuff. Kind of a yawn. But there it is in Scripture. So I doggedly began my lectio divina, reading, reciting, reflecting, asking Jesus, for God’s sake to show me something delightful about this passage. And of course … He did.
First off, it’s obvious Isaiah is writing to God’s beloved children here; “No one is excluded who was not first included,” says the incomparable Robert Farrar Capon. These “rebellious children” are God’s own to begin with … so we can know He won’t throw them off forever.
Then I felt like Jesus was asking me, what does Egypt represent? Of course, in the Old Testament it represents slavery — Israel was enslaved to Egypt. Remember that movie The Ten Commandments? Whole big deal about Israel, freed from slavery.
So I felt like Jesus was asking: who has been freed from what, and for what reason would they put themselves back into slavery, go back into Egypt?
Immediately I get that we, who are in Christ, have been set free from the law of sin and death! (Romans 8:2)
For us, today, this passage could be directed at anyone who has found freedom in Christ, but for some reason exchanges it for slavery to something else!
And — more on that tomorrow.