Letters to the Family of God
by Joe Franzone | January 25, 2024 | Pastor's Blog
Run for the hills is a long-ago expression that most think means running from something, but it also means running to something. Isaiah 8:9 - 9:7 expresses this idea seamlessly.
The word translated sanctuary in verse 14 is found in another place. Exodus 25:8, where God commands, let them make Me a sanctuary that I might dwell among them. This was a high point in Israel’s history. God gave them the right to provide a Tent (later on, a Temple 1 Kings 8:12-13) where He Himself would live.
However, Isaiah reverses this and says that as the future comes, whatever it is, the Lord Himself will be their shelter, and His people will take shelter with Him. This is where the idea of God being a mighty fortress, a strong tower, the Tabernacle, and sheltering wings begins. The point here is that they are running to God. They are sheltering with God.
The application is spectacular. This is the secret of the unworrying people of God in a worried, sick world: be in awe of God, dear Christian, and you will have nothing to fear. (Verse 13)
The Christians have their feet in two worlds. The flesh and blood world sees new worries around every corner (Verse 12). And the forever world which T. Dudley-Smith writes, where (God’s people) are safe in the shelter of the Lord, beneath His hand and power, and they are strengthened by a hope that cannot fail.
However, as usual with God, there is more. God's people possess the testimony, the teaching (Verses 16, 20), and the Word (Verse 20). This is their light in the dark world. God has spoken. He has told the truth about Himself and given His genuine people His word to hold on to, understand, and live by.
In Christian history, the call to be different, living by God's word, has often been meant with only a moral list of do's and don'ts. Isaiah chapter eight shows a different way. God's people display unanxious peace and glad dependence, nourishing their minds and guiding their lives by the Word the Lord has spoken. In Him, they do not fear what other people fear; they do not dread it. They face the future with calm and specific expectations that God will be God, and He is good, and they run constantly to the Tabernacle, the Lord himself, who welcomes them gladly.
Jesus is the final and complete fulfillment of Isaiah 8:9 - 9:7. Jesus is the light that has broken into the darkness. Jesus says, come to me all you who are weary, heavily burdened, afraid, terrified, petrified, weak, wounded, and lost. I will give you rest. You shelter with me, for I am your rest.
May God bless you in all things, great and small - to the praise of His glory.