January 17, 2019: Day 47 – Isaiah 43January 17, 2019
One random thought that I had while I was reading this chapter is found in vs.12 where Isaiah has the Lord say to us: “You are my witnesses.” So, Stacy and I served for 4 years within the Waldensian Church in Italy. A very well known Italian author wrote about this church in a book entitled: “You are my witnesses.” I am not encouraging you to buy it, but just showing it here to prove that it is a real thing: https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-My-Witnesses-Waldensians/dp/8870160890.
The story of the Waldensians is uplifting. A small pre-Reformation group that formed 300 years before the Reformation and believed that the Bible should be readable to all and that all people had a right to interpret the Bible. They were persecuted and fled from Southern France to the Northern Alps in Italy. As Waldensian Pastors in Italy, keep in mind these churches ministered to Italians and were in Italian and not to English language folks, we were daily aware that we were in the minority and that as Protestant in Italy you were constantly subjected to misunderstandings and assumptions which were at times very hurtful.
But there was also a sense of pride that this small minority was a significant minority as it established hospitals and schools and churches across the country. My two oldest daughters were born in a Waldensian hospital in Southern Italy. So when I read Isaiah tell us that we are the witnesses that the Lord has to use, I think, right you are.
Other verses in this chapter that are significant are found in vs.18-19 where we find that the Lord is doing a new thing. He describes this new thing as making a way in the wilderness (we have seen this John the Baptist thing already a number of times) and making rivers in the desert. These two examples are picked up today as examples of ways in which God is doing new things among us which often times conflict and contradict what has been church orthodoxy for a number of years. I’m not really on board with that, although I do believe that God has done and will do new things, but they will not conflict and contradict His Word. Just sayin…