Word for Today: Isaiah 47

I confess that Isaiah is one of my favourite books in the Bible.  I’m not sure why, but I’ve loved it since the first time I really waded through it many years back.

Even still, chapter 47 didn’t jump out at me the way most others have in this string of readings… except for one little phrase…

“You pleasure-loving kingdom”.

That word comes to Babylon.  And it’s not a compliment.

A piece of me loves the piercing quality of that prophetic word.  Another piece of me, perhaps my pleasure-loving portion, says, “Hey, what’s so bad about loving pleasure?”

I mean, it’s PLEASURE.  Even the word is rooted in PLEASE, and who doesn’t seek to be pleased in life?  I buy the idea that we all seek pleasure or happiness.  We go about it in different ways with varying theories on sources, but at some level, everyone is driven by a pursuit of pleasure.

And I’m fine with that.  I don’t think it’s darkly self-centered to want happiness.  I think it’s how we’re wired.  I agree with John Piper’s thoughts, those behind his provocatively titled book, “Desiring God”.  Actually, that title is fairly straightforward.  It’s the subtitle that grabs: “Meditations of a Christian Hedonist”.  Far from a call to religious folks to go wild and throw away inhibitions, it’s a call to live passionately and a conviction that our quest for happiness will inevitably drive us towards God, the ultimate source.

Logical question: So how come so many appear to find happiness apart from God?

Proposed answer: They settle.  In a twisted sense, they’re not intensely “hedonistic” (i.e. pleasure-seeking) enough.

Fascinating thoughts to me, but a long tangent from Isaiah 47.  I suppose that the short of it is this…

Beware of our pleasure-seeking tendencies.  They are real.  And they possess both the potential to lead us towards God AND to lead us towards a million other things.  What isn’t up for debate is that they WILL lead us.

I hope you’re well-led today.

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