1 Send lambs as tribute
to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, across the desert,
to the mount of the Daughter of Zion.
2 Like fluttering birds
pushed from the nest,
so are the women of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon.
3 “Give us counsel,
render a decision.
Make your shadow like night—
at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,
do not betray the refugees.
4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
be their shelter from the destroyer.”
The oppressor will come to an end,
and destruction will cease;
the aggressor will vanish from the land.
5 In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
one from the house of David—
one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.
Again, I love the imagery of Isaiah, how he uses every description and tool at his disposal to describe God’s relationship with people, and vice versa. Here, the imagery used in this passage give a sense of complete helplessness: a lamb being sent to slaughter, a young bird pushed from its nest, fugitives fleeing from violence. And the refuge for all of these will be a man from the house of David, who will sit on a throne as a Righteous Judge.
With this, we realize that these images describe all of us, that we are all helpless in so many ways. Most of the time we really don’t believe this – we kind of need God, but can get by just fine on our talents, our wealth, and our friends and loved ones. But this is truly an illusion, and people who have gone through tragedy of any kind know how illusory these resources are. Your talents are no guarantee of success. Your wealth can be lost in a single moment. Your friends and loved ones can leave us. A bad storm can wipe away a city, a wave can wipe out an entire generation of lives.
It is counter-intuitive to some degree, but we have to reclaim our helplessness, and even celebrate it. We are helpless, it’s true, and our strength can be sapped so quickly. But this is okay, because our strength is not found in our assets and resources, but in the King who sits upon the throne. And this way, we spend more time developing our real strengths, rather than our false ones.
1. When things get difficult for you, to whom or to what do you usually turn for help?
2. Have you ever experienced a time where you realized you were truly helpless to change your situation, no matter how desperately you wanted to?
3. Have you ever experienced a moment where God gave you hope in a hopeless situation?