[My meditation from Encounter with God] Isaiah43:14-28
“I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see.
But One stands near to be my Guide, He’ll show the way to me”
– AB Smith & E Clarke @1958 New Spring
This passage conveys a paradoxical view of time reflecting two perspectives on past and future.
On the one hand, God calls Israel to ‘review the past for me”(v.26). The prophet speaks of what God has done for Israel not burdening them with unbearable demands for sacrifices (v.23. Cf. Mic. 6:6-8)but bringing judgement on them because of their sin (v.28)-and of what Israel did in the past – not bringing any appropriate sacrifices, but constantly ignoring and disobeying God (vs.22-24,27,28).
On the other hand, they are told to ‘forget the former things’ (v.18) because now God is going to do something new that should be the focus of their attention. He will deal with Babylon, ‘making a way in the wilderness’, and He ‘remembers your sins no more’ (vs.14,19,25).
It reminds us that looking both forward and back are necessary. Dwelling on the past, as if that is what determines the future, only leads to despair. Ignoring the past, as if there are no lessons to learn, only leads to continuing ignorance. We must review the past ‘for God'(v.26), taking note of our sin and His forgiveness – remember that what is written is from ‘The Lord …..your Redeemer'(v.14) -and then look to what God wants from us and will do for us in the future.
Think about the years just gone. What should you be ‘forgetting’ and what ‘reviewing’? What do you expect God will do next years?
– John Z.