Scripture: from verse 9
Yes, you hear, but you don’t understand.
You certainly see, but you don’t get the point!
Observation: This is the message God sends to Israel: that they are misunderstanding or refusing to understand who God is and what He wants.
I’ve been reading a lot of Harry Potter fanfiction lately (meaning fans writing stories about the Harry Potter characters which may or may not fit into the plot of the books) and a couple of my favorite stories are in the “Sevitus” trope, meaning they are stories in which Professor Snape becomes Harry’s mentor or guardian. The well-written ones are very heartwarming. (“Severitus,” on the other hand, means that it turns out Snape is Harry’s biological father, and those are usually terrible and squicky. Now you know.)
Anyway, this verse reminded me of a scene in one such story, where Harry is remembering a typically horrible lesson with Professor Snape and, in retrospect, realizes that behind Snape’s insults was the desperate hope that Harry would figure out what he needed to learn, because it would save his life.
The point here is not that Snape necessarily meant that (since I’m not sure he did, in canon) or that God is like Snape (I am very thankful He isn’t) but that sometimes we seem to be in a similar situation with God. God isn’t always nice. He isn’t safe. He doesn’t provide beds of roses and bonbons to eat. Well, not often anyway.
But even when He has to put us through difficult situations, His thoughts towards us are not hateful or angry. He’s hoping we’ll figure out what we need to learn, because it will save our lives.
We’re all facing a battle. We’re all saving the world. We are all the Chosen One. That God isn’t always nice doesn’t mean He isn’t good. He will save our lives.
Application: Ask God for understanding, instead of assuming He doesn’t have anything useful to say about difficult things.
Prayer: Father, thank you for saving my life. Thank you for teaching me everything I need to know. Help me to understand what you are showing me. Amen.