“If you are not firm in faith,
you will not be firm at all.”
Have you ever walked on an icy path, trying with all your might, with arms flailing about, to simply keep upright? Each of your steps running the risk of landing your flat on your back (or worse). We all know what it’s like to have unsteady footing…on a sandy beach, mountain trail, crossing a stream. We all also know, but are usually unaware, of the unsteady footing we have in everyday life. We have an incalculable number of stepping stones on our life’s path that we use to get us from A to B.
- I place my weight on the how happy, safe and satisfied my kids are
- I place my weight on the happiness of my marriage
- I place my weight on how well I do in my job
- I place my weight on my financial safety net
- I place my weight on my health report
This list is infinite. And shaky. And sinking. Inevitably sinking.
My kids (like me) are going to make bad decisions, have hard times, be unsatisfied, cry, yell and be in despair. If their satisfaction is carrying my weight, then I will fall.
My marriage will have great highs and terrible lows. My wife, though she is seriously strong, cannot hold my weight on her shoulders.
I may not be able to control my family, but at least I can control my job and how well I do. Right? Again, nope. I have some control, but one day I will work my last day; on many days my career will be overwhelming and life-depriving instead of life-giving.
Isaiah in the passage above tells us an eternal truth that we see all through scripture. If we put our weight on horses and men, kings and banks, health and approval, we will absolutely fall. They simply cannot bear the weight of our souls. And so Isaiah with great hope pleads with us to put our faith in the Lord as our sure foundation. But what does that mean and how can that hold the weight of my heart? Psalm 130 gives us a clue:
“O Israel, hope in the LORD,
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
God himself, the one who has given us our weight, is the only one who is able to carry it. We cannot even carry it ourselves. The Psalmist gives us hope by telling us Who God is and What God Does:
- Steadfast Love — This is the word “Hesed” (my favorite Hebrew word). He alone is and does Love. His love is sacrificial, eternal, unending and strong. His love is what we stand on; what carries our weight; what holds us up.
- Plentiful Redemption — It’s not just that God redeems. He has “plentiful” redemption (the same words used in Genesis to “be fruitful and multiply). His redemption, his secure saving power is enough to carry all of me, all of us. “Redemption” means that God (alone) has purchased us from our other stepping stone. His redemption means that he 1) picked us up and out from the miry clay and 2) set our feet on The Rock. (Psalm 40:2).
In Isaiah and the Psalmist’s time, they were looking forward in faith to The Rock, The Redeemer. We now have the honor and blessing to look backwards in time to the coming and completion of the Messiah, The Rock. They looked forward to Jesus who was Plentiful Redemption; we look backwards to the same. Jesus himself is The Rock on which we have faith, on which we stand. He is the only unmovable, unchanging, strong and steadfast stepping stone.
Take a minute to listen to this promise through a remake of this classic hymn — remember the hope: “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.”