Isaiah 44:8

Fear not, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.
Isaiah 44:8
Our family loves hiking in the mountains, but nature complicates our adventures. Guaranteed, our youngest will wear out five miles before endorphins kick in for the others. Someone will forget a water bottle, something will be broken or lost, and I will worry about everything from altitude sickness to bears like it’s my full-time job!
 
Recently, we picnicked beside a waterfall, streams bursting from stone, alongside rock walls begging to be climbed, outcroppings like open arms. Our children climbed in wonder, humbled and awed by the majesty of creation etched with the signature of our Savior. Our oldest children are young adults and have earned rights to climb at their own risk. But as I watched our youngest children scramble up the rocks, I felt the practiced warning welling up from within me. “Stop! Don’t climb! You might fall!”
 
This time, instead of calling out, I swallowed my words.
 
My mind went through the mother’s catalog of everything-that-can-go-wrong, of invisible dangers everywhere—microscopic viruses that shut down borders, addictive images lurking behind screens, one wrong turn, one bad choice that can tilt a world on its axis. And I was worried about a fall?
 
In that moment, I felt as though my whole goal and purpose in life was to wrap my kids in bubble wrap and keep them from falling. I had forgotten the greater truth, that they, that I, that all of us have already suffered The Great Fall and the destructive sin wounds that come with it.
 
I am not advocating careless, reckless living, and there are rocks that would be foolish to climb without proper training and equipment. Even a beginner’s climb comes with risks—stones slick with snow melt, loose rocks, or simple human error.
 
But no earthly fall compares to our great sin fall, no mountain chasm approaches the great divide between sinners and God, and no wound of the flesh cuts deep enough to harm the soul.
 
God our Rock who rescues us from death and binds up our sin wounds will never shift beneath us, will never let us stumble, slip or fall (Psalm 121:3). In this passage from Isaiah, God declares to the Israelites that there is no other God besides Him. God is our fortress, our stronghold and our salvation. We are wise to seek refuge in Him, to build our lives upon Him.
 
Earlier in this chapter, the Lord tells His chosen people that He will pour water on thirsty land and streams on dry ground; that He will pour His Spirit upon their offspring and His blessing on their descendants (44:3). Reading this, we remember God’s mercy when Moses struck the rock in the desert, sending streams of water to flow abundantly so that all the Israelites and their livestock may drink (Numbers 20:11).
 
We remember our Rock, Jesus Christ, beaten, struck and nailed to a cross. Through His death and resurrection, our parched souls may drink Living Water and know the outpouring of His Spirit upon us.
Rebecca Janni | Author

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