Scripture: from verse 3
An ox knows its owner
and a donkey its master’s stall,
but Israel does not know [Me]…
Observation: A lot of Isaiah is about Israel not following God, and the bad things that come of that. Humans are really bad at following God, so that’s not exactly surprising.
What struck me here was the sense of familiarity. These days when we talk about knowing something, we often mean a very intellectual, head-based knowledge: being able to recite facts and theories about it. Don’t get me wrong, facts and theories can be very beautiful and I love knowing them. But that’s not the type of knowledge being discussed here.
Oxen and donkeys don’t have the brainpower to comprehend legal ownership or the details of architecture. If they did, I suppose we couldn’t treat them as property. But they know where they belong. They are familiar with one place – with the smells and sounds and the angle of the sunlight and the taste of the water – and they know that that is home. They return to it when they are tired or sick or scared, not because they understand that their owners will feed them and care for them, but because that is where goodness occurs. That is home.
That’s how God wants to be for us. He’s willing to teach us facts about Himself, and those are big and beautiful and dazzling. But what He truly wants is for us to recognize Him as home. To return to Him when we are tired or hungry or scared, instinctively searching for His shelter and care. To know what He feels like, not just to study His nature.
Application: Get quiet. Be with God.
Prayer: Father, thank you for being home for me. I’m sorry that I don’t always take the time to recenter myself in you. Help me to be quiet and feel your presence and guidance more often. Amen.