“How about a little fire, Scarecrow?”

I mentioned last post that I have been working my way through the book of Isaiah. It is a well that never seems to reach the bottom no matter how many times I return to drink from it. No promises here, but I’ll continue to share various insights as they come.  I love Isaiah’s imagery. He (as the mouthpiece of the LORD) is the master of the simile and metaphor. Consider the passage I read this morning…

For you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water. And the strong shall become tinder, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with none to quench them.”- Is.1:30-31

The image painted here is of a certain kind of people who have every outward reason to be confident and proud. This is a people who seems prosperous, progressive, self-sufficient, and fruitful. Who cannot be in awe of the mighty oak? Who cannot marvel at the beauty and abundance of a garden? But what are oaks and gardens without water? In other words, what happens to a great nation that forgets its God? What happens to a great man or woman who neglects the gospel? They become a big ol’ pile of kindling ready for the bonfire. In our self-righteousness we are all like scarecrows of various shapes and sizes tripping down the road. The really scary part is that Isaiah tells us that the works we pursue to make ourselves bigger and better scarecrows actually become little sparks. Get the picture? If we seek to be good and great apart from the grace and power of Christ we are just stacking up more fuel for the fire. Then, it’s not the wicked witches of the world that we need to be concerned with. It’s the book of matches in our own hands that we continue to strike as we go. Eventually, everything’s going to go up in flames. And the rest of the people stand back in amazement and wonder what happened.

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