Be Still Know
Isaiah 38:1 NLT
About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: ‘This is what the Lord says: “Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.”’
Isaiah addresses King Hezekiah towards the end of his reign and with an eye to Judah’s exile into Babylon, some 80 years after Hezekiah’s death. The remarkable thing is that among the long list of kings, Hezekiah was something of a good and godly egg! He introduced huge reforms to Judah’s worship which included destroying the high places that were outside of the worship practice required by Yahweh. He also broke the bronze snake cast by Moses in the wilderness into pieces since it had become an object of idolatry and worship to the people.
It is well to reflect upon tradition and custom, for all of us can far too easily fall into the trap of creating idols out of moments when historically the Lord has moved. While we all celebrate in those moments, it can be all too easy to turn them into the essence of our faith. We return year upon year into the same space, assuming God is there.
It was not that history was unimportant. God instructed 12 stones be carried from the bed of the Jordan and set up at the entrance to the Promised Land as stones of remembrance for all he had done for his people. Yet, these stones were permanent monuments, while God wanted to continue to work with living stones of flesh and blood in the now.
These are signs of the great work God has done historically, yet may bear little resemblance to what God is doing today. You must seek God and continually enquire about where he is today and what is on his heart for you and the work of mission. Just as the biblical narrative journeys from a garden to a city, so you need to keep in step with God and pursue him wherever he goes.
QUESTION: Do you need to move on and leave the stones of remembrance and follow God into what he’s doing today?
PRAYER: Lord God, I am grateful for all the moments I have encountered you in the past. Meet me afresh today.