As one of the wealthy nations in the world, passages like this in Isaiah should cause us to reflect. Will all our stuff be crushed to dust and be walked upon by the poor? If you’re reading this, you may well say, “I am poor.” Truly a lot of us are poor compared to Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Jack Ma Yun, and far too many of our political leaders.
Compared to the world at large, however, we are (by and large) rich. Not (by any means) to minimize their experiences or circumstances, many even of our homeless live better than many in the world. This is not to say the life of a homeless person is easy, nor that ours are.
Are we like the people being alluded to in Isaiah? If we take our wealth for granted and disregard God’s blessings…yes. If we don’t take our wealth for granted and continue to look for and be grateful for God’s blessings, we are much less likely to be those “living on high.”
Yet, while haughtiness, pride, and greed may not be our particular vices, a lack of righteousness may well be. Righteousness, not wealth, not power, is what we are to focus on. It could almost be said that righteousness is second only to love, though love without righteousness may not be love at all.
Godly righteousness results in the peace (Shalom) that is being in right relationship with the Living God.
The Living God concept is of course to be the counterpoint to the dead idols that the people surrounding Israel (and even Israel) worshiped. One cannot have a relationship with a dead idol. Jesus then adds to this by saying that God is not a god of the dead. God is the God of the Living.
There is the surface aspect of this being about the Resurrection and eternal life. There is also a not-so-subtle dig at the gods of the dead: power, wealth, stuff. The dead being both those who had died not knowing God, but even those who were breathing, but were dead because they did not know God.
- What are some other ways that Isaiah’s words speak to you? Do any cause to reflect on changes that you need to make?
- How does God being a “God of the Living” affect your understanding of the words from Isaiah?
- Where in your life (immediate circle of influence) can you be a better witness and voice for God’s righteousness?
Living God and God of the Living, quicken our hearts, minds, and spirits to approach your throne of grace, mercy, and love, so that we are able to share the spark of the Creator with all of those around us. Amen.