“The burden of the valley of visions. . .for it is a day of trouble and of treading down and of perplexity by the Lord God of Hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls and of crying to the mountains.”
Isaiah 22:1a, 5
The journey of faith is both one of ecstasy and agony.
What do you see when you look around you, Pilgrim? Well, it depends upon your focus. If you take a walk with someone through the woods, neither one of you will be focused on the same thing at the same time. And, even if you are, you’ll both still look at it differently.
If it’s a flower, one of you will notice how beautiful its color, while the other will bask in its fragrance. If it’s a tree, one of you will marvel at how tall its branches, while the other will spend time counting its number of limbs. If it’s a baby fawn, still covered with its spots, one of you will notice how feebly it walks, while the other will remark how brown are its big eyes.
Yet, in the “valley of vision” there is both a blessing and a burden.
How wonderful it is to know that Jesus came into this world to be the Savior of the world. . . to die for us on the Cross. . .be raised from the dead in Glory. . .ascended into Heaven to prepare us a place and to pray for us even now (Heb. 7:24-25). . .and one Day to come again, parting the eastern sky as the Trumpet sounds.
But, in that same valley we see “the handwriting on the wall” (Dan. 5:5-9).
And, the message written there is pointed and foreboding: “You’ve been weighed in the balances and found wanting” (Dan. 5:27).
“Enough of that ‘doom, despair and agony one me stuff’,” says the positive thinker and purveyor of a prosperity gospel.
“Teach people how to live the victorious life!” they cry.
But, in the valley of vision. . .where “dead bones can come to life again” (Ez. 37:1-14). . . there’s also the stench of death and the rumbling of Judgment’s chariot wheels on the horizon.
Yes, it’s wonderful to know of a Deliverer who says to anything and anyone, “Loose him and let him go!” (Jn. 11:44). But, the time will come when that same One will say “Depart from me, all you that have been workers of iniquity; I never knew you” (Mt. 7:23).
Such is the nature of the “valley of vision.”
And, that’s why we must be faithful to proclaim what we see there. This “sharper than a two-edged Sword” message (Heb. 4:12) is both for wooing and warning. In the valley we see what is prepared for those who believe. . .and what awaits those who don’t.
So, be faithful, Pilgrim.
The Lord of Hosts and the Harvest has placed you in the “valley of vision” and it’s your responsibility to say “Thus says the Lord.” It’s not a matter of choice; it’s a command (Mt. 28:18-20).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 23, 2010