Selections on Trust from Isaiah

Whenever we have a book that is especially long, like Isaiah, it is easy to hustle through it just to get it done. Was it easier to read James and read it in a way that gave you time to study and learn from than this week’s readings in Isaiah? But for how much more difficult it can be, don’t miss out. Even if you’re just highlighting some meaningful nuggets from Isaiah.

There were some great passages on trust this past week, like Isaiah 26:3:

Trust in the LORD forever,
For the LORD, the LORD, is the rock eternal.

The in chapter 30 we read:

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
In quietness and trust is your strength…

Great reminders of the simplicity of the faith. We are to trust in the one who can provide, and lean on God. Sadly the last passage goes on to say, "but you would have none of it." Isaiah spends much time on the theme of bringing low the proud, and raising up the humble. The people trusted in themselves, built up their own power, and looked to other gods. They would have none of this repentance and trust in God.

When we have times of great clarity, when we know how much we absolutely need and depend on God, it seems crazy to turn to anyone else. Who wouldn’t want quietness and rest? But we need to hear Isaiah as warning for it is easy to turn from that and forget who God is and what he has done for us. It is tempting to rely on ourselves. Isaiah holds out hope for us all, for all who wold repent and then find ourselves trusting in God.

Simon Says

“One on occasion,” as Luke 5 begins, a crowd was gathering around Jesus to hear the word of God. Jesus was by a lake so he got into a boat, and had Simon, the owner, push off from shore so he could speak to the people.

After he finished speaking, rather than return to shore, Jesus tells Simon to go further out into deep water. Jesus, the carpenter, then proceeds to instruct Simon, the fisherman, in how to fish. “Let down your nets for a catch.” Simon’s first response is to say that he and his partners have already toiled all night and have caught nothing. Maybe he thinks this isn’t going to work or perhaps this isn’t a good idea. I can’t hep but think there was at least a slight pause and recognition on Simon’s part between his first words, “we have caught nothing”, and his following response to Jesus. Maybe just as he is finishing his complaint his tone changes, his eyes turn away in embarrassment for his doubt, and he realizes who it is that is speaking to him. Simon then says, “But at your word I will let down the nets.” What follows is by now to be expected from the reader. Simon and his crew catch so many fish the weight begins to sink the boats.

Jesus’ simple command to let down his nets is a challenge to Simon’s wisdom, experience, and expertise. Jesus isn’t having a discussion, he is issuing a command. But Simon has to battle what he knows and feels. He just had been fishing in this water all night long. What sense does it make to let down his nets one more time? So he responds to Jesus accordingly and it is a contest between what Simon says and what Jesus says. But thankfully Simon ignores his own words and heeds the words of Jesus.

All the crowds had gathered and pressed in around Jesus to do just that, “to hear the word of God” (Luke 5:1). Now hisĀ word was directed to Simon. How could he not respond? What followed was an incredible show of God’s power.

Being in the presence of the Lord and witnessing such power, Simon is terrified, as are others around him. He confesses his sin and unworthiness. But Jesus didn’t leave him in fear. He had made Simon a successful fisherman that day, and Jesus now calls him to continue to heed his words–not Simon’s own. He wants Simon to follow him, stop catching fish, and start catching people. When they all got to shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.