The last couple of weeks, Isaiah has me wondering just when will I ‘grow up?’ It seems growing up is a process. At eighteen I thought, I’m all grown up! Then stepped into the world as an adult. Oh my! I had a lot to learn! At 21, the State decided I was a full adult. Hm… does that mean they thought I’d grown up? If they did, they were wrong. Looking back over five decades, I see how much I have grown up in the last 10, 20 and even 30 years. And… There is so much I haven’t learned. Now I ask myself, “will I ever grow up?”
“11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” [1 Corinthians 13:11]1
Of course, I start with this scripture. It lays out plainly what we do when we grow up. Our speech changes, we understand things differently, our thinking changes, and we put away the things of the past. This is not where I started. The Lord led me on a different path in my journey through the book of Isaiah. On February 11th I read Chapter 30 and stopped short at verses 21-22:
21“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
22 You will also defile the covering of your graven images of silver,
And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
You will say to them, “Get away!”
What? We will throw our idols away? It sounds like they will be repulsive to us. Is this possible? Will we love God so much that sin will become repulsive? And why does this seem familiar? Mentally, I shrugged and finished the chapter.
On the 12th I moved onto Chapter 31. In verses 6 and 7, I read:
“6 Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.
7 For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold—sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves.”
Whoa, back up a minute. I read that yesterday. I think… Have I ever heard a sermon on this? Going through the references for Isaiah 31:7, I read Isaiah 2:20: “In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and bats.”
Ah, that is why the phrases are familiar. According to my notes, I read this on January 6th. Three times in the book of Isaiah, the prophet proclaims that on the Day of the Lord, we will throw away our idols.
I had to think about this for a few days. Isaiah is describing the “Day of the Lord.” If I understand the term. “The day of the Lord” is when Christ returns and God cleanses earth. The prophets describe this day as a terrible day, a day of wrath, darkness, devastation, and distress.
I find that as we grow spiritually, we change. Just like when a child grows up and models a parent. They put away their toys and begin learning to be an adult. I thought about how our soul grows up. In the spiritual realm, our soul yearns to connect with God. It yearns to be like the Creator. Reading this shows me that when we get closer to our God we put away the things of the world (sin… idols…)
I also remembered taking RCIA2 classes to become a member of the Catholic Church. We talked about purgatory. The class was a questioning bunch, including me. I asked my share of questions on the subject. The one question we all had was, “What is the purpose of purgatory?”
The priest explained a view of purgatory as a place to learn how to be with God. He is the King. You don’t go into the presence of a king or president without being instructed on how to act in his or her presence. You may get to heaven but, if you don’t know how to act, you need to learn. We all laughed when he said, “basically, we are all going to go back to school! How long we stay there depends on how much we learned while we are here.”
I smiled, remembering his teaching. The memory makes me think, life is all about growing up to be with our Creator, God. Please pray with me:
Thank you, Father, for leading us with patience on our path in this life. As we grow into the people, you made us to be. Help us find the idols that separate us from you. We want to cast them away from us. Help us to be open to Your presence and hold us close as we confess our sins. Have compassion on us and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.3 In Yeshua’s name, amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.
1All scripture is from the New King James Version: Prophecy Study Bible New King James Version, Editor John C. Hagee © 1997 by Thomas Nelson, a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.
2 RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
3 Micah 7:19: “He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
4 Please, remember I am not a theologian! This is from my own private discussions with the Lord, study, and experiences. You may see something I do not. That is okay. Let the Lord lead you. Ask Him questions and discuss this with Him. He is faithful to lead and guide us. Just like you, I am growing, searching for wisdom and understanding.