Advent Devotional – Monday, December 12, 2016 – The Significance of a Child
8 Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. 3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
5 The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, 6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son; 7 now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: 8 and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.
9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
11 For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. – Isaiah 8:1-15
After I read this scripture, it took me awhile to really figure out what God was saying. If you go through these verses, you will see we find an unmistakable and unavoidable concentration upon the figure of the child. God is pleased to convey the expansiveness of his plan in the figure of the child. He is pleased to convey even the monumental transformation he intends to bring for the entirety of the world in its course of history.
God’s big dreams come in tiny packages. The large and the immense are compressed into the small and the minute and into the figure of a child. God’s magnificent work of salvation, by which he changes everything, is brought about through and in a child. Being a Mom and a Grandma, I get to see all the joys children bring. I get to see the innocence in my grandchildren and that is what God‘s children are. Sometimes it really amazes me how God shows himself to me through my grandkids. I often forget to have that childlike faith.