photo from Heroes.
Yesterday I told you about the difficult (and wonderful) day I had with my four-year-old. Today I want to tell you how it relates to the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah was writing to people who had pulled the covers over themselves in shame and anger. The people were in darkness because of the trouble they’d created for themselves. They didn’t have to be in darkness, but they chose it. God didn’t want them to be in darkness, so gave them repeated opportunities and warnings to avoid it. But they kept disobeying and testing God’s limits. They kept doing the opposite of what he requested. They kept doing the wrong thing, the bad thing, the harmful thing for themselves and others. And so God, through his prophets, would say, “Hey, children, stop that, or you’ll end up in the naughty seat.”
Finally, the time for punishment came. Isaiah describes the naughty seat for Judah and Israel in frightful terms. But to me, it sounded an awfully lot like what happened to with Benjamin last Saturday: “My people will be led away as captives, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and shake their fists at heaven and curse their king and their God. Wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.” (Isaiah 8:21-22 NLT)
Some might say that God was far too patient with his stubborn kids. Some might say they deserved a quicker consequence. Others might think God was too harsh. I think that the Almighty Holy God is slow to anger. I think his patience level is tremendous and inspiring. I also think that he has our best interest in mind when the naught seat comes. His most earnest desire is that his kids will possess in their souls all the goodness of life available to them. God’s heart is so good, it causes him to pour out his love on his kids. But, as any good parent knows, discipline in love is a sad necessity. That’s why God wanted Isaiah to prophesy about the naughty seat. God’s children would be placed in exile. Nations were going to come in and haul the people off… And they would find themselves miserable… and angry with God for following through on his word… And they pulled the covers their hearts so that they could try to get away from their Father in heaven.