Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken. (Isa. 1:2)
“God does not speak to me.” Those were the words of my son when he was around six years old. He had asked God to speak to him but had not gotten an immediate answer. Moreover, he was hoping that God’s message would come in the form of an out-of-this-world experience. It did not.
The book of Isaiah begins with the declaration of a vision. The heavens and the earth are summoned as an audience to hear what the Lord is saying. But to see the vision and to listen to the Word, one must locate this message in a historical timeline. By naming the kings of Judah that ruled during his ministry life, Isaiah framed the overall message as something given to specific communities over time. The Lord’s oracles, which combined both words of correction and hope, could not be rightly heard detached from the historical realities of Isaiah’s own community.
God is still writing his story in history. The Lord’s vision and Word can be seen and heard in the world. Sometimes, like my son, we want to hear God in more abstract ways, wishing to have out-of-this-world spiritual experiences. However, Isaiah reminds us to pay close attention to what God is saying and doing in our time. God still speaks through the loudspeaker of history. Listen to his words of correction and hope.
Meditate on the way God tells his story of hope in history!
Luigi Peñaranda is an associate professor of global leadership and Latino/Latina Christian studies at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.