The Unforeseen Encounter

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Original photo by Charles Klegg

Daily Reformation, Isaiah 6:1-8, 9-13

From the Reformer

Melancthon discoursing with Luther touching the prophets, who continually boast thus: “Thus saith the Lord,” asked whether God in person spoke with them or no. Luther replied: They were very holy, spiritual people, who seriously contemplated upon holy and divine things; Therefore God spake with them in their consciences, which the prophets held as sure and certain revelations.

We read in the books of the Jews that Isaiah was slain by king Ahaz, because he said: “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne,” etc. Doubtless, Ahaz said unto him: Thou wretch! how darest thou presume to say, “Thou hast seen the Lord?” whereas God said to Moses, “Shall a man see me, and live?” Thou art an insane heretic; thou blasphemest God; thou art worthy of death; take him away. And many think it quite just that Isaiah was slain for this, not enduring that any man should say he had done or seen greater things than Moses.

—Martin Luther, Table Talk

Pulling It Together

God is completely holy. I am not. He is divine. I am human. He is wise. I am foolish. He is perfect. I am far from that. In fact, we are all far from being righteous. We have so little in common but he calls out to us just the same. If we had been smart enough to think about it, we never would have expected it: God inviting us to his house, to eat his food, to be his people—his friends. We were created to enjoy God’s company so we should have expected this move but who could have foreseen this encounter with the Divine?

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

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