Haven’t You Heard?

Isaiah 40:21-31

From the Reformer

Hast thou not known? He repeats the same statement which he had formerly made, that the people who had been carefully taught in the school of God were inexcusable for their slothfulness, and chides them sharply for not having profited more by the doctrine of the Law, and by the other means which God had bestowed in addition to that knowledge which they possessed in common with the Gentiles. The word “know,” which is more general, is put first; because by many miracles and other proofs God had manifested his glory. Next, he asks, “Hast thou not heard?” As if he had said, “If thou hast profited nothing by being taught by actions and by word that God is never unemployed, it is evident that thou are excessively unteachable.”

—John Calvin, Commentary on Isaiah (40:28)

Pulling It Together

It was in an orange Dodge Duster on a Friday afternoon. Mother took me for a ride after school. She was grim and at the same time there was a disappointment hanging on her face. We did not drive far—just half way around the block. There, in the quietness of that car, alone with her, my mother tried one last time to get through to me.

I had brought home my report card and she was dismayed again at my dropping grades. She wanted to know what was wrong and why was I only doing average work. I vividly recall sitting there like a clod of dirt, having nothing to say but, “I don’t know.”

She gave up that day. “You’ll learn when you’re ready.” She never ceased to show her disappointment at years of report cards thereafter. Yet she never chided me again—or offered her assistance. I was now on my own. This is a bad place for one who is “excessively unteachable.” I may never get to the place in my own power to where I wanted to learn.

There is one who lends strength, vitality, and renewal to those who want his assistance. Or haven’t you heard?

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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