Isaiah 62 contains gems galore! More precious than diamonds, rubies and pearls! Focus on verses 3 and 8. They speak of the hand of the Lord. ‘The arm of the Lord’ symbolizes His might and His presence with us. As I read this, I thought back to when we toured the city of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Mary and Joseph came by donkey, we think. We came by bus, we know! Enjoyed the Church of the Nativity, where we descended down into a large rock-hewn cave, traditionally the birthplace of Jesus. This church dates back to the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine’s mother, Helena, from the 4th century AD.
We walked Bethlehem’s streets, entering a favorite tourist shop where they sold olive-tree wood carvings. You must know that my sense of humor is far from normal. Some would say ‘twisted’ and they would not be too far off! Walking the aisles, one of the sales people approaches me describing in great detail this figurine that is about 8 inches tall. Not something I would be interested in buying, but wanting to be polite I listened. By the way, the figurine had three arms. All I could think to say to the salesman was– ‘you’ve got to hand it to him’! Thankfully, I don’t think he got the nuance of my warped humor!
But that little figurine came to mind as I read this chapter from Isaiah. Not in fun, but with encouragement. How often in life do we need strength beyond our own? For the twists and turns of life. Like a friend dealing with cancer once again. Another who is lonely in a new job in a new town with all new people. Some in our family who need jobs and money to finish school, whose tears we’ve seen and shared. This is where God’s arms are mentioned. A tiny word in biblical Hebrew–‘yad’. Means ‘arm’.
More than that. Strength. God’s strength. Technically, it’s also used to identify the support structures that hold up the extremely heavy bronze basin in the Temple(1 Kings 7:35-36). This free-standing font, filled with water, would topple over without the ‘hands’ supporting it on all sides. So would we, without the Lord’s help. You know exactly what I mean. Life without Him would topple and crumble in disastrous flooding. To rack and ruin.
When even daytime seems like darkest night, read Isaiah 62:3-4. Let the arm of the Lord uplift you. Share these verses with someone you know who needs a helping hand from our God. He will help. We’ll need nothing more…to hold us up!
Prayer: Our Lord, how good to know that you are our strength and salvation. We depend totally on you. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.