"And it set him aflame all around,
Yet he did not recognize it;
And it burned him, but he paid no attention."
— Isaiah 42:25

Is Isaiah speaking of not knowing in the pejorative sense? Like those times in our life when we do not recognize what is going on around us; Where we lack vision and are blinded from seeing what God is trying to tell us in the events we encounter. Is he speaking to those times when we are so oblivious to what is going on around us that we do not see the flames all around nor realize that we are being burned?

Or is Isaiah speaking to the positive aspect of a laser focus? Where we are so focused on doing what is right that even in the heat of battle, when the flames surround us and even burn us, they do not impinge on our mission.

As so often is the case with Hebrew poetry, this is not an either/or, rather it is an and/both.

As Toni Dungy once said, "Stubbornness is an attribute if you are right."

So Isaiah is saying that when we set out to do something, when things go wrong, the flames should get our attention. We then take stock in this and perhaps make a change.

But if we are right and just in our task, even when the flames surround us, they should not cause us to change. In fact, when we are right and have focus on the right, the flames around us should not even be noticed, even if they burn us.

© 2011, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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