Isaiah 50:10-11 " Let the one who walks in dark who has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on GOD. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches go walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand. You will lie down in torment" This is not an easy verse to obey. In a culture that prizes independence and preparedness GOD is asking us to come before HIM in our daily walk. And not just any walk, it’s a walk in the dark - the unknown. And lets be honest, who isn't afraid of the dark? Its filled with mysteries and questions that we don't know the answers to. The uncertainty is universally haunting and those feelings have acutely worsened with the current social climate. In response we are taught to build up certainty in ourselves. We work harder so that no matter what happens we'll be on solid ground. We turn to friends or even family and seek answers from those who know just as little as we do. We begin to light our own fires because even if that fire doesn't last for long at least we'll feel it's warmth for a while. Peter experienced this temptation at a critical intersection in his life. We see Peter by the fire outside of Caiaphas's house while Jesus is on trial. Peter is consumed with doubt and apprehension about the results of the sham trial. In those cold moments he finds himself confronted at the fire and fear overtakes him. He denies knowing Christ three times and hides in shame. He stepped out in his own strength and swiftly discovered that he couldn't stand up to anyone. GOD warns us of the deceptive warmth of self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Fires can be dangerous and can burn everything it touches. Self-reliance will not comfort for long and we are guaranteed to lie down restless and unsatisfied. When we attempt to light our own fires for our own comfort it becomes destructive and is ultimately insufficient. Instead GOD is asking us to walk in the dark. To walk in the unknown using only HIM as our guide. And we know that as one sense diminishes the others become more refined. As we lose our sight, our sense of touch increases to the point that we can feel HIM holding our hand and guiding us through the darkness. Jesus doesn't leave Peter out in the cold forever. We see them again on the beach after the resurrection. This fire is different. It wasn't started by a mere man; rather it was started by Jesus as a point of reconciliation. Peter leaves this fire with purpose and a calling. His fears are abolished and instead replaced with an everlasting hope. Our GOD is not a cruel GOD. HE is responsive and filled with warmth. HIS intent is not to leave us out in the cold for long, but as we wait in the dark HE'S asking us to close our eyes and hold on tight.
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