This week in our community we have been confronted with and impacted by the unimaginable tragedy of a 12 year old boy being killed by the hands of his father at a public sports ground during a children’s cricket training session. Such a tragedy leaves a lot of painful and unanswered questions about how this can happen. One of these questions I, and I’m sure many others, have wrestled with is how can a sports ground full of spectator parents stand back and watch something so horrific happen without interfering? Now, to be fair there is so much we don’t know about exactly who saw what, when and where, but it certainly was a question that was raised in some conversations as we tried to make sense of this tragic incident.
While we must be careful not to make judgements about a situation like this without all the facts, it is a question that begs to be asked when we stand on the sidelines of the arena of life and watch the devastating impact of sin on a broken and fallen world and remain silent or uninvolved!
Bob Dylan once penned the provocative line in his song ‘Blowing in the Wind’ – “how many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn't see?”
It is a question that could easily be translated in the context of the church to ask, “how many people have to face an eternity without Jesus, before Christians will say, here am I, send me?”
After Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord high and lifted up (Is 6:1), he saw a vision of himself ruined before a holy God and a people that he lived amongst in the same vulnerable and lost condition (Is 6:5)! However, the angel of the Lord reached down and cleansed Isaiah’s sin giving him a revelation of God’s redemption for all of humankind (Is 6:6-7). Then he heard the voice of the Lord, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Is 6:8)
Isaiah’s response to the Lord’s invitation, “Here am I. Send me,” came from a man who could no longer stand on the sidelines and continue to “live among a people of unclean lips” because his “eyes [had] seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” He had a vision of what could be and should be!
When you have a fresh revelation from the Lord, you cannot look upon God, yourself or the world in the same way again! You can no longer look upon sin and deny it, justify it, minimalise it or avoid it! You can no longer stay uninvolved.
I think sometimes people turn a blind eye to things they see hoping that they can avoid getting involved, but you cannot un-see what has already been seen!
When you have an encounter with Jesus, you can see clearly now! You can see what has been hidden from the eyes of unbelievers. You can see God’s redemptive plan for his people. The question is, how are YOU going to respond to what you now see?