New years are gifts. A year seems to climb reaching its pinnacle somewhere during the Christmas season for most. Once that vista is reached, thoughts move to the descent, “What’s this year going to be like? Well, whatever it will be, I want it to be different than the last!” And so it begins: resolutions.
I haven’t asked people whether they made any or not. I’ve seen some shows on Netflix lately where they’ve gotten some bad press. I haven’t made any. Still, new years are gifts as they give us the opportunity to gather our thoughts of the past to leverage them for the future.
I was reading this morning in Isaiah, chapter 2.
For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up – and it shall be brought low….And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
One day – whenever it is – will be like no other. It will be a day when all that is in us shivers and we might not know why. Our thoughts will be impossible to collect. Our decisions slack. Our movements tentative and cautious. Picture a major event happening outside your window that has you transfixed and breathless. You look at your neighbors’ windows and you see them stuck to them as you are.
Then something happens: you are drawn outside for reasons you don’t know. As you walk down the street to an undisclosed destination you notice a train of people headed in the same way. There is no talking. No one is shuffling in hesitation. There is simply walking and awe.
When your view of things clears, you will notice only one thing: a man. He looks like one who has been through fire. You rifle through the myriad movies you’ve seen to try to capture an image to describe him but you fail. He is uniquely and strangely singular while at the same time familiar.
“Is he friend or foe?” That’s the question that’s been gripping your heart since you first saw him. You can’t decide. You dare not ask anyone either. In fact, he is the only one who can truly answer that for you on the day; and he will answer it. What will he say to you?
I have rejected you. You are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers…and you strike hands with the children of outsiders. Your land is filled with silver and gold and there is no end to your treasures; your land is filled with horses and there is no end to your chariots. Your land is filled with idols and you bow down to the work of your hands, to what your own fingers have made.
Will that be it? Isaiah the prophet recorded those observation of that same man as he looked upon his people of old. All manner of things mattered to them – except him.
Make your resolutions, friend. But keep one thing in mind: a day is coming when only one Man will stand and only those whose lives exalted Him will stand with him. He need not be a stranger to you: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” and you will stand.