But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
It’s a matter of discontent…and indicatives.
Indicatives are verbs that say something about something; they indicate something. If I say “Tom runs,” I’m indicating something about Tom…he’s running. If I say “My name is Tom,” I’m indicating something about me. If somebody else says “His name is Tom,” they are also indicating something about me; they are identifying me.
The Great Speaker of indicatives is Yahweh, the Living God. At the end of the day (and from the beginning, too), He is the One who speaks all the indicatives. His ultimate indicative has to do with our relationship with Him. It can be “You are Mine,” in which He indicates about you that you are blessed to belong to His Son, Jesus Christ…the greatest of all possible blessings. Or it can be “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23), indicating that you are lost. There is no middle ground. It is the indicative upon which all of eternity hangs.
Yahweh speaks other indicatives proceeding from that ultimate indicative. In Hezekiah’s case: “Hezekiah, king of Judah and Jerusalem,” an indicative with all of the desirable baggage of the royal line of David and Yahweh’s covenant. In the City of God, Hezekiah was somebody. But when Babylonian envoys came, he forgot the indicatives Yahweh had spoken upon his life, who and whose he was, and drank deeply of the wine of the City of Man. He wanted to get drunk and be somebody…else. Like Esau bargaining his birthright away for a bowl of soup, Hezekiah was despising his birthright as well…the indicative of the Davidic throne. He was experiencing discontent.
Yahweh has spoken indicatives upon us, as well, O Christians. First and foremost, that greatest indicative of all…“You are Mine.” And because we are His, the admonition and promise of Isaiah 44:21 are ours:
“Remember these, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
Christ calls us to get drunk and be somebody, too. But there is a difference. He calls us to put down the vintage of the City of Man and, instead, to drink deeply of the new wine of the City of God. In the new birth of regeneration we are newly-formed to be his servants. The Greek of the New Testament uses the word doulos…“slave.” As in “Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ.” (Philippians 1:1. Really. If you don’t believe me, ask John MacArthur, who has forgotten more about the New Testament than I’ll ever know.) As in “And having been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18)
Are we discontent with that?
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