Lean Upon The Lord

Lean Upon The Lord

Jesus warned His disciples that there would be “wars and rumors of wars” in human history and the temptation would be for humans to abandon hope and be crushed by despair. If Jesus said that 20 centuries ago, why are we surprised to see the histrionics of today’s society that has put their trust in their own intellects and the accumulation of political power?

The truth is we are always an inattentive moment away from abandoning wisdom and trust in God for the slippery slope of pride and unwarranted self-confidence. It’s happened before. It’s happening now. And it will happen in the future until Kingdom come!

Look at our lesson inIsaiah 10:12-20

When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride. For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I have removed the boundaries of peoples, and have plundered their treasures; like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones. My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as men gather eggs that have been forsaken so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing, or opened the mouth, or chirped.” Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood! Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire. The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day. The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away. The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down. In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

St. Isaiah continues his ministry to the kingdom of Judah and the unfaithful kingdom of Israel to the north by reminding them that God always starts “cleaning house” with His own people. And yes, the reality that the “chosen” people are being made to bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness is bitter and a hard lesson. But this bitterness is sweet when we consider the outcome of discipline now, instead of at the Last Judgement.

Isaiah comforts God’s people by telling them that their time of discipline will be followed by God correcting the powerful kingdom of Assyria. Listen to that pride king claiming he has “removed the boundaries of peoples.” This haughty ruler is claiming he is the one who is powerful and wise as he praises himself. The northern kingdom fell for that arrogance and allied themselves to this pagan king. Their unfaithfulness and failure to lean on God instead of trusting temporary power are about to be abundantly clear.

You see, all human strength has a limit. All arrogant claims run their course and the end of their “talent” and authority usually ends in humiliation.

But those who lean on God have a “power” and a strength that is eternal. How foolish it is to trade the eternal for the temporary! Isaiah describes this foolishness perfectly when he asks “Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?” Putting our trust in the axe instead of Him Who wields the axe is the very definition of shortsightedness!

God promises the Faithful that they will come through this cleansing discipline and will burn brightly again. But only if they learn the lesson of leaning on Him rather than falling into the temptation to trust temporary power. We fall into the same trap when we trust politicians or earthly powers to bring about righteousness, and then we have to deal with the humiliation of seeing the failure of our foolish choices.

Today, what are you leaning on? Is it solid and eternal, or is it the “wisp” of temporary power? Being Orthodox on Purpose means learning the lesson that leaning on God is the only wise choice for your life.

P.S. Dear Lord, Your wisdom always proves to be solid and stable. But all too often I find myself trusting in my own strength or the strength of perceived “power” to guide and sustain my life. And I always have to relearn the lesson of my foolishness the hard way. Please forgive me Lord and give me the attentiveness to trust in You for the foundation of my life. Amen

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  • K Reply

    I try to understand this greed for power and righteousness. So, then, in the power of belief, should a country remain open to a power of another country taking them over? Should the people and its government just say ok and surrender and leave fate to the hands of God? If we just left this all to God, then His will be done. We proclaim it, but we dont live it when we shed blood. Pride, power, greed……

    March 23, 2022 at 10:26 am

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