Aug 11, 2023 Contrasts – Words of Grace Blog – August 11, 2023
Sometimes there is no middle ground. The contrast is real and makes a difference.
The ability to understand options, weigh alternatives, and make compromises can be a sign of maturity. Not every decision has only one clear choice, every problem only one solution, or every issue only one side.
But when it comes to the way of the future the contrast is clear, and this is no clearer than in Isaiah 2.
Isaiah begins this message with a vision of the future, “the latter days” he calls it. In those days the glory of the Lord will be established and enjoyed by those who are there. The word of the Lord will be heard and heeded. And the peace of the Lord will rule among former enemies.
Those days will also include a day when God humbles all the pride of man and everything humans trust in will be brought low and revealed as worthless. So, the future will be both bright and dark. The brightness of God’s glory will be for some, while the darkness of judgment will be for others.
The contrast of Isaiah 2 is not only between glory and judgment. It extends to the way we live and what we trust. We see two ways to live which are in total contrast to each other, with no middle ground.
“Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he.” Isaiah 2:22
“O house of Jacob, come let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Isaiah 2:5
Human pride and self-trust versus humility before God and walking in his ways are the clear options. The former leads to judgment, the latter to life. We are faced with a necessary, binary choice. This choice matters for the future and it is eternal. This is the message of Isaiah 2.
Contrasts that require choices are difficult because they imply one is wrong and the other is right. Human nature prefers complexity and options to avoid a decision. That works with ice cream. It’s perfectly fine to choose two or three flavors on one cone, or even to mix them together in one bowl. It’s just ice cream. But with God, it’s pride or humility, self-trust or faith, with no room for some of both.
Whether it’s on the macro level of our culture or the micro level of our individual lives, this contrast between human pride and humility before God is the issue of our day. Our day is not unique. Isaiah wrote these things 2700 years ago for his day. But our day is included in the message of the contrast between two ways with the choice that matters forever.
Are you aware of the contrast in ways being presented to you in life? Can you see the contrasting ways in the messages you hear every day? What choices are you making regarding what to believe, where to place your trust, and how you will walk before God toward the future? Think on these things and join me in prayer as we approach the Lord’s Day.