Psalm 119:9–16; Isaiah 44:1–8; Acts 2:14–24 (read online ⧉)
The beginning of this passage in Isaiah has an important meaning that is easy to overlook.
Hear | Servant
Chosen | Israel
Do not fear | Servant
Chosen | Jeshuran
At the beginning, it is certainly more direct and imposing. At the second part, though, the tone changes. Hear (or Listen!) becomes do not fear. Israel becomes Jeshuran, a poetic “perfect” Israel. The way of addressing the people goes from formal to informal, some might even say endearing or intimate. Israel is not just someone to be commanded; they are someone loved intimately, warts and all, and are “perfect” despite their imperfections.
This loving God then declares that he will pour his spirit into his people! It will be like water filling the desert.
A fisherman standing up and making a scene was probably not in the top 10 ways expected to have this played out. In a very public sermon, Peter invokes the prophet Joel’s vision, and we can easily see the parallel between Joel’s vision and Isaiah’s.
In both, God seeks to give more than the Imago Dei and the weakness of human frailty. God seeks to fill us, upon our acceptance, with the Holy Spirit filling us with life eternal.Us being filled by the Holy Spirit can be viewed as the ultimate expression of the intimacy expressed by Israel being called Jeshuran, or us (as the church) being called the Bride of Christ. With the Spirit in us, we should never be unaware of God’s presence in us, and the intimacy that conveys.
1) When you hear God in you, what goes through your mind?
2) Have you progressed to the point where it is not just spiritual or intellectual, but both? If not, what could help you get there?