ISSL Reflections June 19 2022 Isaiah 49:18–23 Post 2

Once again notice the beginning and ending words of this passage –

“Lift up your eyes all around and see …
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

It seems the prophet encourages his hearers to wait not passively but with their full attention to what they might see.

What does he encourage his hearers to notice?

Isaiah 49:18-23 (New Revised Standard Version)

Lift up your eyes all around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
and like a bride you shall bind them on.

Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

The children born in the time of your bereavement
will yet say in your hearing:
“The place is too crowded for me;
make room for me to settle.”

Then you will say in your heart,
“Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away—
so who has reared these?
I was left all alone—
where then have these come from?”

Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.

It seems he asks them to notice times of waste, desolation, devastation, loneliness and bereavement.

Do we notice these or do we avoid noticing them?

Even as the prophet calls their attention to these, he also asks them to notice when hope and restoration might enter the picture.

What stands out to you as you look around? Waste and desolation, or hope and restoration?

“Those who wait for [The Lord] shall not be put to share.”

Do you find hope in such a promise?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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