How do we deal with our dismay over what seems like a brutal and bloodthirsty characterization of the same Lord Who later claims to love the whole earth?
It is as though God will hit the rewind button and bring all of creation back to its starting point.
Now, the prophet was going to wrap up these twenty chapters between 13 and 33 with two summary chapters.
The way to receive from the Lord is to open our minds, hearts, spirits, and hands and then put to use by faith what the Lord gives.
There is one last correlation that almost certainly would have come to mind for John’s audience—the Exodus.
All of us have experienced being in the desert places. Perhaps that is where you are right now. What act of repentance is God calling of you in order to make you ready for the outpouring of God’s Spirit in your desert place to bring back life?
Our real crisis is always going to be about faith, about being more impressed with human plans, human ingenuity, and human control rather than God’s wisdom, God’s character, God’s promises, and God’s will.
In order to understand what faith is, you and I have to actually use it. A person does not really have faith until that person lives it out, boots on the ground, real life, real dilemmas, real crises.
This was the strange way God was going to inspire their faith, and often, it is the strange way God brings you and me back to center as well.
The following six chapters, Isaiah 28-33, are like a Slinky, or an eagle in the updraft. In a series of sermons, Isaiah gives a woe, then a promise and call to faith, then he wheels back to the woe, and again to a promise and call to faith.