Summary: Isaiah has a prophecy that helps identify the Messiah, and shows God’s characteristics. This prophecy also is something for us to take notice of, as reflectors of God’s light.
Have you ever visited a maze.
Every now and again as a family we seem to end up at one.
And over the years I have learnt three things from our visit to a maze.
One you don’t want to be in a hurry, being in a hurry will often make the place more frustrating and less enjoyable.
Secondly make sure everyone has been to the toilet before you go.
and thirdly be prepared to ask for help.
After about an hour in most of the mazes we have visited, it is almost guaranteed that I will begin to wonder whether I am going to get out of the place and secondly why did I pay someone so I can get lost.
Fortunately when we visted Tasmazia, apparently the largest maze complex in the world,
it was reassuring and also a little distrubing that even before started they said, look if you cant find the bears cottage, which was the end point of the maze, you are welcome to come back here for directions.
They had probably learnt over the years that if they didn’t offer this assistance people would still be wandering around the place, well into the night.
But imagine for a moment if you were stuck in a maze and you couldn’t get out.
Imagine if you couldn’t see that there was any way of escaping, getting out of the maze.
Many people seem to live life that way.
They feel life is one big maze and they are stuck in it.
Perhaps you have had moments just like that.
Perhaps you have experienced a situation which seemed to haunt you.
Where you felt you couldn’t see any hope for the future.
Where you were in a situation or place, where you felt locked in and you couldn’t see anything positive.
Well today’s text in Isaiah chapter 42 is spoken into a very similar situation.
At one time in the Jewish history the Jewish people, were split into two kingdoms.
One kingdom was called Judah and the other in the north, Israel.
Now although they were God’s people.
People who liked wearing the label that they were God’s people.
They weren’t living that way.
Israel had become experts at sin and rejecting God.
Judah had become skilled in perverting justice, oppressing the poor and looking for reasons why they didn’t have to help the poor, and rather than rely on God they relied on other things.
They relied on idols to secure their future and bring them happiness.
They would even seek help from heathen nations which God had told them not to do rather than trust God.
Now amongst these people though there was a group of people dedicated to God, often called the remnant.
And for them this period is considered one of the darkest times for the Jewish people.
Not because they weren’t prosperous but because God did not seem to be central in the lives of others.
If an outsider was to visit them it was not obvious they were followers of God.
In fact there was next to no difference between them and most of society.
They lived as almost as if God didn’t matter.
And so for the few who were focussed on God, they couldn’t see much hope.
But fortunately amongst them God had placed the prophet Isaiah.
As God’s prophet. Isaiah brought two main points to the people of Judah and Israel.
Consider them as two light posts from God.
The first message from God is one of judgement and warning.
And the second is one of comfort and hope.
From time to time in our Christian lives we tend to sway too much one way or the other.
It is important for us to keep coming back to the fact that God has both messages for people, judgement and warning, and comfort and hope.
When God’s light shines in our lives these two things will happen.
God’s light will reveal our flaws, and the likely consequences of our flaws.
Put it this way over the years I have learnt to put clothes in the washing machine with the light on.
Because if I don’t, I miss seeing the spots, especially the faint ones on shorts, shirts and other clothing. The spots that need some stain removal spray. But with the light on they are very visible.
And God’s word will often highlight the stains in our lives, the flaws that we have.
But remember God never stops there.
In fact one of the main reasons God shows us our flaws is so we can be open to receive his help.
God always offers us a future that things will be better.
And that we are not alone in our walk into the future.
God makes promises to help us where we have flaws.