"You who are now far from my righteousness"
"For I knew how stubborn you were;
your neck muscles were iron,
your forehead was bronze."
"Well do I know how treacherous you are;
you were called a rebel from birth"
(Excerpts from Isaiah 46-48)
Five and a half years old...ugh!
I love my son dearly, but he has suddenly and unexpectedly hit this age and season where he is wearing my husband and me out.
Strong-willed, stubborn-hearted, rebellious.
Don't get me wrong, he isn't acting out in violence or anything...just testing his boundaries, I suppose.
Moreso, he is testing my strength and resolve.
Thankfully, I have a God who knows and understands how it is to have a child who is a bit testy - in His case, He has many testy children.
Additionally, my God imparts His strength and resolve and even His peace to me as I look to Him to be my Guide and Example through these difficult times.
I imagine my son doubts our motives for disciplining him at times, and even thinks my husband and I are mean when we do.
God knew the Israelites as well as all of us would do the same with Him---even doubting to the point of doubting His very existence. Because He knew we would question Him and His power and His very nature, He planned and worked ahead in order to give us undeniable proof when those days of doubting come. See for yourself, in His own words:
I foretold the former things long ago,I have tried to tell my son things in advance so that he will be prepared when certain days come, but I in no way can begin to actually foretell as our God has done for us. Wow!
my mouth announced them and I made them known;
then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
For I knew how stubborn you were;
your neck muscles were iron,
your forehead was bronze.
Therefore I told you these things long ago;
before they happened I announced them to you
so that you could not say,
‘My images brought them about;
my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
You have heard these things; look at them all.
Will you not admit them?
- Isaiah 48:3-6
And how else does our Father God, the Lord Almighty handle His stubborn, rebellious children?
“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
- Isaiah 46:3-4
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
you who are now far from my righteousness.
I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel.
- Isaiah 46:11-13
“From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.
They are created now, and not long ago;
you have not heard of them before today.
- Isaiah 48:6-7
For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;
for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to destroy you completely.
See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.
- Isaiah 48:9-11
This is what the LORD says—Our Father redeems, rescues, loves, directs, and upholds his rebellious, doubting, self-centered children...always!
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sand,
your children like its numberless grains;
their name would never be blotted out
nor destroyed from before me.”
- Isaiah 48:17-19
I pray I can be even the slightest reflection of Him as a parent to my precious son.
Moreso, I am ever more thankful for how my Father accepts me, even when I act like a five and a half year old.