Our small group Bible Study has been studying the book of Isaiah, and I sometimes dip into Raymond C Ortlund Jr.’s commentary Isaiah: God Saves Sinners to help supplement that study. This isn't a scholarly commentary necessarily, but reads more like a devotional or sermon transcript. These words from his comments on Isaiah 50 were powerful to me, especially in light of what I wrote in my Desiring the Kingdom post yesterday:
“God encounters us meaningfully through words – words that illuminate, words that last, words that undeceive our confusion. ‘The Christian faith has come to us in words, not images; find that passage in the first chapter of the Gospel according to St John – the Word becoming flesh, and dwelling among us full of grace and truth – one of the most beautiful and profound things ever written. If it had come to us in images instead of words, it would not have lived as it has.’ If God’s way of getting through to us is the word, then we need to learn what it means to listen.” (quoting Malcom Muggeridge)
"When nothing else in our experience makes sense, when we have no visible path forward and everything seems to be closing in around us, what should we do? We should take our stand on the revealed character of God and keep going in his will, one step at a time. We should announce to ourselves again and again the promises of the gospel. The bare word of God has the power to stabilize our panicky hearts. In this simple, profound way, our lives will declare that God is a good Savior. And it's how we show we are really listening to Christ."
~Raymond C Ortlund, Jr., Isaiah: God Saves Sinners
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