Isaiah, the Fifth Gospel

Deliverance and Healing in Isaiah

How to Read this (lengthy) Meditation

If you end up liking some of the following, you may want to skip around. I did. When I began this as a personal journal, I started with Isaiah 30. This lengthy meditation isn’t written with a beginning, middle, and end. It instead says something like, “Oh, not only back there, but here again is similar good news, worded a bit differently, another facet on the diamond.” Each facet stands on its own and can be read in any sequence.

The Bottom Line

If you want the healing and deliverance that all the gospels offer, you must relax, let go of your efforts, and trust:

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength" 
                  (Isaiah 30)

No activity is mentioned in these lines. Trust is the way we lean on someone else’s activity. As Paul the apostle said, “Sin (literally, aiming for a target and missing it) will no longer be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6). You work for the law, you trust for grace.

If you believe in Jesus, you are dead not only to sin but to the law. You are dead to every vow and rule you or anyone has ever made. If a thought puts demands on you, it’s the law, one way or another. Trust expects the love and provision Jesus came to provide. You now serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code (Romans 7).

Some people sin, indulge, and end up addicted because that is the only nature they know. Christians sin, indulge, and end up addicted because they are neither taught nor are willing to believe that they are truly dead to the demands on their willpower.

I’m sorry, but this grace is rarely taught in “church” because an institution relies on human will (as do the banks it borrows from). No institution trusts or has faith. The real church—those called out from disbelief—can trust because it is comprised of people—broken, loved and anointed people. Want freedom? Depend as much on Christ as your body depends on your brain.

A Note on the Violence of God in Isaiah

If one assumes scriptures (the “Bible”) are inspired by God, the question arises: does every statement in the scriptures provide an equally accurate description of the nature and character of God? While religious fundamentalists are taught to say “yes,” that approach is fraught with problems (both moral and intellectual).
Continue reading “Isaiah, the Fifth Gospel”