See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. Isaiah 32:1, 2 NIVOswald Chambers quotes* Scottish Old Testament scholar, George Adam Smith (1856-1942), who tells of an interesting observation he made while in the desert. Plants often spring up, especially in areas near oases and rivers, but they don’t last. Why not? The wind shifts the sand, cutting plant life short. If, however, you put a rock in such places, after time, a veritable garden will flourish on its leeward side. What makes the difference? The rock stops the wind from disturbing the sand, and plants have a chance to thrive.
The passage above is messianic. Jesus is the king who will reign in righteousness. He is the rock in a weary land to which we can escape. He is our protector and stabilizer who produces a sanctuary from shifting social values so we can flourish while living in his shadow.
I don’t know about you, but I find it easy to be deceived by our culture. Yes, there are some very obvious differences in values between what is promoted in our media and what we read in the Bible but some differences are difficult to distinguish. The reasoning of our culture can make a lot of sense, even when it’s wrong, but if we plant ourselves close to Jesus, we can know his never-changing truths and grow in the protection of his shadow.
Jesus, please keep me in your shadow, where I am safe from the winds that come to destroy me and my relationship with you. I want to flourish instead of being blown over and covered by sand. So be it.
*Oswald Chambers, “Christian Disciplines, Volume 2” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, page 306.