The Bible has got some great names. I’ve always been partial to Arpachshad. But in today’s chapter from Isaiah, we get Isaiah’s son Maher-shalal-hash-baz. That’s an entire sentence in Hebrew. Can you imagine naming your kid an entire sentence, like “Raise high the roof beam, carpenters” or “All my best friends are metalheads?” Well, at God’s instruction, that’s exactly what Isaiah does.
What’s the opposite of an evil person? It’s a good person, right? When he’s faced with threats of violence from evil men, we’ve even seen David contrast himself as a righteous man with his wicked, brutal pursuers. His prayers reiterate the theme: “It would be unjust for God to let liars and murderers triumph over a man who has abstained from these things.” But today, David sets up a different contrast. The opposite of an evil person isn’t a good person. The opposite of an evil person is God.
“Does justice never find you? Do the wicked never lose? Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues?” -Switchfoot, “The Blues.” This is a recurring question in David’s psalms, one which he sometimes answers, but never without tension between how things are and how they should be. Throughout his life, David saw wicked men prosper. He saw a Philistine giant mock God and his people. He fled from a king driven to madness by rage, hiding in caves to save his own life from this abuse of power. He saw war and bloodshed. And how does he describe those who commit the evils he sees?
Today’s passages: Matthew 4, Matthew 9:32-38 The word “gospel” first shows up in Matthew 4:23, just after Jesus has had his wilderness showdown with the Devil and called his first disciples. Matthew writes: “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of […]