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Don't Dispise the Small Things

“Because this people has rejected

the gently flowing waters of Shiloah

and rejoices over Rezin

and the son of Remaliah,

7 therefore the Lord is about to bring against them

the mighty floodwaters of the Euphrates—

the king of Assyria with all his pomp.

It will overflow all its channels,

run over all its banks

8 and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,

passing through it and reaching up to the neck.

Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land,


Isaiah 8:6-8

When I was a kid, we had an above-ground pool installed. In between having the pool built and constructing a deck around it, one of our cats decided to investigate the new contraption. She jumped on the railing and apparently decided to get a drink, never mind that she had a bowl of water not far away. Unfortunately, the water level was high enough that she couldn't stand, but too low to allow her to climb out again. By the time my dad found her, she was paddling like crazy to keep her head above the water, bloated from all the water she'd ingested.

Dad leaned over the side but couldn't get a good hold on her. (And who really wants to grab hold of a mad, wet cat anyway?) He managed to snag her tail and flung her out onto the ground.

The people of Isreal thought like that cat sometimes. They had gently flowing waters throughout their land, but they wanted more. Specifically, they coveted the mighty Euphrates river that ran through Assyria. The river along with Assyria's strong army lured the people into putting their trust in another country. They built an alliance and with it a false sense of security.

God warned them that He would use exactly what they desired to discipline them. This mighty river and the people who lived along it would rush over Judah destroying people, livestock, and crops.

My childhood pet, the Israelites, and us. We're all alike in our desire for more.

We look at the gently flowing waters in our lives - a steady job, a stable marriage, sufficient (not extravagant) income, a modest home, an operational vehicle - and we long for more. A more prominent position. A more exciting relationship. Higher-income. Larger home. Luxury car.

And where do we put our trust for those things? Ourselves. The people around us. Our jobs. The lottery. A credit card.

Instead of finding joy and peace in the things God has given us, we're constantly searching for more. And when we find it, we nearly drown in the overwhelm.

But don't miss those last two lines. While God warned that the mighty Euphrates would swirl around Judah, He promised it would reach the "neck" but no further. (Commentaries say the "neck" refers to Jerusalem.)

This last section offers us a reminder and a promise. God may allow us to sink up to our neck in whatever it is we desire, but He won't drown us in it. And no matter how high the waters get, God is always in control. It will only go as high as He allows.

Oh, and our cat survived her near-death experience just fine. After a couple of days of TLC and some drying out, she lived nearly another decade, but I'm not sure she ever drank from the swimming pool again.


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