Where’s Our Hope?

1 10 2008

This morning, as I was reading through the judgments of Isaiah 19-21, verse 6 of chapter 20 really caught my attention:

And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’

Isaiah is here describing, prophetically, God’s judgment against the great rulers and people of Egypt, and when those who dwell on the coast see how these mighty people were defeated and humiliated, they too will lose all hope.

As I read that, and meditated on God’s judgment upon these people for their misplaced hope (a malady all idolaters suffer from), my thoughts turned to our current economic crisis.  When the news came down this week that the economic bailout package had been voted down and wall street went into a panic, I imagine many around the country started to feel their source of hope was being threatened.  This morning, I pictured them saying “Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered… And we, how shall we escape?”

Honestly, I felt a little bit of that worry myself. I don’t own any stocks or have an investment portfolio, but I did feel a little pang of panic as I thought about how this current crisis will threaten my lifestyle and comfort.  I’m sure many of us, even who have little invested, wrestled with this fear.  Again, we’re like the coastland people who see the mighty being defeated and then wonder how we can possibly survive.

As I contemplated my fear in light of this passage, God used this crisis, in the light of His word, to reveal to me some misplaced hope and confidence.  Let’s be honest, we in America have made materialism and wealth our god.  Often we look to it for hope, security, strength and meaning.  I too am guilty too often of this ‘idolatry.’

So, this morning I’m praising God for His revelation in the midst of this crisis.  I’m praising Him for using the evil of man’s greed and foolish financial planning to accomplish His good purpose of exposing to many of us our misplaced trust.

When the next bank fails or the Dow Jones takes another nose dive, let’s be people who rejoice that we have a source of strength and hope that can never be moved and will never fail.  Let us be people who live intentionally with our hope and trust set squarely on the only One worthy of it, and when others fear because the might have fallen, let us be those who stand with unwavering confidence because our Might One will never fail.

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