Monday, October 29, 2007

+ isaiah rewritten + 1:1-15 +

{ re-writing the bible has always been the best way for me to really understand. too often we skim over the verses because they are written in the same writing style, the words we've heard all our lives, even if we've never read that particular passage. my november challenge to myself is to re-write the book of isaiah, and it's long, so i've started early. here's isaiah 1:1-15 }

ONE: Isaiah, son of Amoz, was given the sight and heart of God concerning Judah and Jerusalem, during the kings of Judah’s reigns: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

Listen and hear me, both heavens and the earth! Open your ears because your Lord has spoken words from his heart that he desires you to hear and understand: ‘I brought life to my precious children and brought them up but they have turned and rebelled on me and my ways. Every ox knows his master and every donkey his owner’s manger, but my children Israel are clueless. They do not know, and my own people do not understand.

Oh, my children who live in their sin, you are a people with heavy, suffocating guilt. A group of you who simply do wrong, over and over, and your children are already set for corruption. You have forsaken your Lord, and ignored the Holy One who gave you your life. You have turned your backs on him.

Why do you insist on being beaten anymore? Why do you persist in this stubborn rebellion that gets you nowhere? The depths of your mind are injured, and the entirety of your heart is afflicted greatly. From head to toe there is no place in you that imitates life, truth, grace, or faith – only wounds and hurts and pain. These wounds have not been cleansed, your hurts have not been soothed, your pain not healed.

All of your surroundings – everything you know is desolate. The structure of your existence - your cities - has even been burned with fire. Your jobs, your “ministries,” your wellbeing is being stripped from you by those you do not know, right in front of your very eyes. Taken out of your hands by strangers.

Daughter Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a farmer’s field, like a city under siege. Unless the Lord had left us a few survivors who still fight for life through salvation, we would have been entirely destroyed.

Listen and HEAR what the Lord has to tell you, those who rule the dying people; listen to what our God has to say, you people of pain! “All of your countless sacrifices, what are they to me?” Asks your Father, in frustration. “I have more than enough of burned lives, opportunities destroyed, suppressed joy and the death that comes with sacrifice after sacrifice. I have no pleasure whatsoever in you stripping the lifeblood from everything you own. When you come to find me and attempt to speak with me, who do you think has required you to trample and destroy my home? Stop bringing me meaningless things! The scent of sacrifice and misery and suffering and death is absolutely detestable to me. Your “good Christian” events, Sundays, and legalistic get-togethers – I cannot bear your evil assemblies. The celebrations marked with sacrifice and that feeling of death – my soul hates. They have become a burden to me and I am tired of carrying the weight of what you insist on doing.

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