For I know their works and their thoughts…and they shall come and shall see my glory (v. 18).
Isaiah’s writings conclude with this passage. It’s fair to say that the prophet doesn’t pull punches with his thoughts. His book has more than a little doom and gloom. To paraphrase: “A lot of corrupt people in power are taking the world to hell in a handbasket; I know it, you know it, and if you don’t know it, I’m going to set you straight.” And he does.
In the sentences just before this chapter, though, Isaiah describes God as a caring mother, comforting and nursing her child at her breast. It’s a (rare) tender description that leads up to this imperative: they shall come and shall see my glory.
Isaiah makes this sound like a forced march into church. At the risk of diminishing the impact here, the scene takes me back to my childhood when my mom would offer a similar directive: “you will sit quietly in church and you will worship and God will be ashamed of you if you don’t.” Not exactly the compelling motto to pack all God’s children into the church house.
But as Christians, we can choose to see God’s glory. We choose to come and worship. God knows our works and our thoughts and wants to see us anyway. “See my Glory,” God invites.
How often do I feel like I’m doing God a favor by showing up to worship? What would it take to reframe that perspective?
God, thank you for showing us your glory, even when we don’t want to see it. Amen.