The illogical love of God – Wednesday, 1st week of Advent – Isaiah 25: 6-10a
There is something most illogical about the love of God. He just forgives and gives. The reading of today reflects this predilection, this preference or special liking He has for His people.
In 753 BC Syria and Israel invaded Judah (Jerusalem being the capital) in the south in an attempt to force it into an anti- Assyrian coalition. It was the Assyrians who were gathering on the northern borders in an attempt to invade Judah. This came to pass with the conquest of Israel in 733 BC and Israel and Syrian became vassal states of Assyria which had now become a super power.
Judah saw her brothers and sisters in the north now under Assyrian rule but did not seem to have learnt her lesson for Judah now began to beat the drums of war against Assyria, this time under the promptings of another neighbour in the South, Egypt. Isaiah spoke out against these unholy alliances. His fervent, sometimes bitter words, failed to move King Hezekiah who revolted against Assyria with the help of Egypt only to be crushed in 701 BC with great devastation to her people. Hezekiah had to surrender and pay a huge indemnity to the Assyrians.
The future was now bleak for the people of Judah. Their lives and future were a pile of ashes and devastation. Food was hard to come by and hope was a distant possibility. In the midst of this the prophet Isaiah gives us today’s message of comfort and boy does it astound us.
God now promises His people a time of prosperity. He will do the unthinkable; for He himself will destroy all that seek to oppress the faithful. He will host a feast of rich food, the choicest, most luxurious foods possible. On the table would be literally “fat” dishes filled with marrow as well as well-aged distilled wines, i.e., wines that miraculously will not turn into vinegar if kept longer than a season.
Why does Isaiah use such imagery? With one superpower following shortly on the heels of another, food shortages and even famine become a reality in people’s lives. When the prophets presented the hope for salvation in the future they did so using the imagery of food, simply because food is a source of comfort associated with fellowship as people eat together, celebrate together, and mourn together.
But it is not merely the quality of food that is stressed in this passage for what is astounding is that God himself has put on his apron to serve His people; a people who have done little to merit such love.
Think about it, looking into our lives we often wonder why we find ourselves tossed in a tempestuous sea of trouble. We tend to blame God for the mess we have landed ourselves into; a mess caused by disobedience to His Word. Yet the last word of the Lord to us is hope, that He will rescue us and love us because He chose us.
Fr Warner D’souza