Friday, January 12, 2007

Isaiah 65:13-16

This was one of the readings in my devotion book this morning. I struggle with passages like this from scripture-where God’s chosen are blessed and their enemies are cursed. Usually, I try to gloss over these sections and make the enemies refer to something sprititual in my life or to see myself as the enemy of God. Yet, originally, that is not how this text was intended. It literally meant the enemies of God’s chosen, of Israel.

How do we interpret these texts in our world today? Our President spoke the othernight of killing and capturing our enemies. Are they the ones that God will curse? We proclaim a gospel of grace-of good news for all humanity and creation. Yet, these passages do not lead us into inclusivity with our neighbors, but an exclusivity from our enemies. We cannot only hear the blessing, because the entire passage is a blessing to those on the inside and it is all a curse to those on the outside. We claim that we belong on the side of blessing and that the “other”stands on the side of curse.

In this passage of good news for Israel, it is sometimes hard to hear good news for all. I don’t know if we can find good news for all in it.
This semester I am taking a class on Israel’s Prophets (finally). I hope to struggle with these texts and questions throughout the semester. I’ll continue to share my reflections as they come.


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