Chapter 2 “We Live in Two Orders” pp. 12-23
How would the message of Isaiah 40 speak to the oppressed and troubled of our time? The prophet’s optimism would provoke our scorn. The exiles in Babylon were as hopeless as modern-day refugees. The prophet understood that our human situation is not one of chance or bad luck, but one of sin and its penalty upon us. After the prophet shows sorrow for sin he looks to the word of God. We have no fear since the Lord will come. He will act for our deliverance from the place of despair. This is beyond our understanding. Therefore we have two orders in life. There is the human and the divine. In the human order we grow, struggle and vanish. We live with sin and receive, even inflict, punishment. The human world is full of sin and consequences. When we despair, then we look to the divine order. God’s word breaks in and brings forgiveness. Here the weak becomes strong. The suffering one brings healing, the defeated one is victorious. Here we find the Christ. If we cling to the human order we have no hope. If we cling to the divine order we have great hope. Yet the two worlds seem quite separate. But even from the depths of our suffering we find the eternal is actually present within the temporal order. God in Christ has broken into history. We are not lost.