Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The Word for today:
Isaiah 20:1 - 22:14

My favorite rock 'n' roll song is from the sixties.
The song's lyrics are by (gotta be!) Bob Dylan, rock's greatest lyricist.
The best version of this song is by (gotta be!) Jimi Hendrix, rock's greatest guitarist.

It figures that during rock's greatest era, rock's greatest writer and rock's greatest musician should be able to cook up a decent song. They did:
All Along The Watchtower

"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"there's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
none of them along the line know what any of it is worth."

"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"there are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
so let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
while all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.
When you read Isaiah 21 today, you'll be reading the words and images Dylan ripped off to "create" this song. I hope he tithed the royalties.

When you read Isaiah 21 today, you'll be encompassed by the vibe that Hendrix ripped off to "create" this song. Trust me, Hendrix did not tithe the royalties.

The song ends where Isaiah 21 begins, with a howling wind...
As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it comes from the wilderness, from a terrible land. (21:1)

...while there's a party going on:
Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink. (21:5)

Amidst the celebration, a note of urgent alarm:
Arise, O princes, oil the shield! ( 21:5)

And a warning:
Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees. (21:6)

There's a sign:
When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, let him listen diligently, very diligently. (21:7)

And its fulfillment:
Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights.
And behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!

And its interpretation:
Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground.

And even a growling lion:
A lion, my Lord! (21:8/NKJV)

You might not like rock 'n' roll. Maybe for you it's strictly classical or jazz or gospel. Whatever it is, it will have lasting merit only insofar as it echoes God's heart of hearts.

You might not like art. Maybe it's women where you find inspiring beauty. On your next girl-watching foray, consider that all--all--feminine beauty emanated from Eve. OK, you should breathe now.

Perhaps women aren't your cup o' tea. Pity. Maybe you like empirical sciences. Science, rightly understood, is but a truthful description of the inner workings of His creation.

You might not like science. Maybe it's theology your into. Theology, rightly understood, is but a truthful description of the redemption--the re-creation--wrought at the cross and confirmed by His resurrection.

We emanate from his breath. (1) We, at best, are only re-breathing his genius.

There's nor a song, nor a painting, nor a poem; nor a discovery, nor a patent, nor an invention; nor a sermon, nor a blog that hasn't re-gifted a talent received from the hand of God.

Even love, love itself, is merely re-gifted:
We love Him because He first loved us. (2)

You might as well give it to somebody else. It wasn't yours to begin with.

(1) Genesis 2:7; John 20:22; (2) 1 John 4:19

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