It seems that Friday's EmmDev didn't go out - I've sent it now - it really needs to be read between the second "To whom will you compare me" and the second "Do you not know." I am sorry this didn't go out - it really sets the stage for the culmination of the chapter.
The Heart of the Chapter
|Why do you say, O Jacob, |
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?
We've all struggled with the feeling that God has "left the building."
We've all been at those moments when, in spite of all our theology and experience of God's faithfulness in the past, we're still stuck and feeling like we can't find God anywhere. The Israelites felt like that:
- Their beloved Jerusalem - demolished
- Their magnificent temple - desecrated and destroyed
- Their proud nation - decimated
- Their small remnant - depressed and discouraged.
This amazing chapter has already offered us a lot of reassurance:
- The comfort and rejuvenation announced in vv.1-2,
- The voices calling us to repent (vv.3-5), humble ourselves (vv.6-8) and meet God who is both mighty and our shepherd (vv.9-11),
- The Perspectives of God as Sovereign (vv.12-14) and the world as temporary (vv.15-17),
- The comparisons between God and Idols (vv.18-20) and God and Astrology (vv.25-26)
- The question whether we know the God who humbles the proud (vv.21-24)
"Why do you feel like I've abandoned you?"
It's reminiscent of the question the Psalmist asks in Ps.42:
"Why are you downcast oh my soul?"
It's God patiently journeying with the pouting Jonah
"Do you have any right to be angry?"
It's like God asking the burnt out Elijah:
"What are you doing here Elijah?"
It's like Jesus asking the two on the Emmaus road
"What are you discussing [and what things have happened in Jerusalem?]"
It's God walking in the Garden asking
"Adam, where are you?"
It's God coming to us - acknowledging our pain, heartache, fear and loss. It's God meeting us at our point of brokenness and God finding us in our pain.
And, as we will see on Tuesday, this questioning God offers incredible comfort in the final "Do you not know?"
CHALLENGE: Are you hiding at the moment? Do you hear God's question calling you out of your sadness, pain, fear and loss? He loves us so much that He comes to us and asks the question that shines His light into our darkness.