I wonder at the structure of the book of Isaiah. We jumped from descriptions of heaven — the joy of the redeemed — to the taunts of the field commander for the King of Assyria.
No doubt about it…those in Jerusalem were in dire straits. Yet they trusted the Lord, and they trusted their king despite the fact that no other nation or god had been able to withstand the might of the Assyrians.
I know what comes next in the story. It was featured very dramatically in the children’s novel, The God King. This book was a thrilling read-aloud — my daughter and I enjoyed it. I have to say that historical fiction like The God King helps me grasp pieces of history that I might not explore without the fictional account.
The countdown continues to my doctor’s appointment next week. I confess I do have some anxiety. That’s why it was a comfort for me to dwell on these words in Isaiah:
Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Have you ever experienced knees that gave way? It’s not a pleasant feeling…but I do take courage from the fact that I am not alone in experiencing this kind of anxiety. Apparently people living in Isaiah’s day felt the same way sometimes.
If the anxiety in my life took a shape or a form, what would it look like? I imagine it would look similar to a dragon…specifically Smaug, the dragon described in The Hobbit. Smaug was covered with armor everywhere except in one place over his heart. An archer felled Smaug with his last arrow, using information from a bird that landed on his shoulder. I read an article today about God being our dragon slayer. I like that image…my anxiety Smaug being felled by the precise arrow of the Lord. What is that arrow? The very Word of God:
12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
There is no dragon too big for God to smite…not even Smaug.