Talk about two sides to the same coin…In Isaiah chapter 28, God emphasizes something by having Isaiah repeat the same exact words twice. But what a difference in the outcome. He tells us things to make understanding easy. He tells us everything over and over—one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there! (Isaiah 28:10) If we would only listen, He has promised, here is a place of rest; let the weary rest here. This is a place of quiet rest.” But they would not listen. All we have to do is follow His precepts one little step at a time.
My wife reminded me of something the other day that I think we all forget at times. Most of the problems in our lives don’t come out of nowhere. I’m talking about the things in each of our lives that we struggle with. Even Paul noted, I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. (Romans 7:15) And all too often it begins with a little thing. I’m supposed to be watching my weight…Well, more than just watching. I’m supposed to be losing it. But every so often I like to “cheat” with candy. The problem is that it becomes more than just a one-time lapse. Soon, I find myself giving in to other temptations in an escalating way. First, it’s ice cream. Then it’s large juice drinks at night before I go to bed Finally, because I’m embarrassed at having failed, I try to hide my failures. When I’m already trying to hide things, other temptations creep in. So what began with something as simple as having some candy, has progressed to something that affects my character. You know,…that part of your self that exists even when no one is watching. So, the bottom line is that I should avoid candy. Just as an alcoholic should never tempt himself/herself with a drink, I need to avoid that first line of temptation. Because the negative things build up a little at a time, just as the truth of God’s Word does.
So the Lord will spell out his message for them again, one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there. (Isaiah 28:13) When God has Isaiah repeat himself, He emphasizes the other reason why He repeats Himself, so that they will stumble and fall. They will be injured, trapped, and captured. (Isaiah 28:13) God’s patience is infinite, but our time here on earth is not. God gives us opportunity after opportunity to follow His Word. And He only requires one step at a time. Unfortunately, failure also only lies one small step away. A Chinese philosopher once said, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. A more accurate translation might have been, The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.–emphasizing the ground on which you stand. Either way, ask yourself, “Am I standing my ground?” And, “Which step am I about to take?”
2 thoughts on “Here a little, there a little…”
A good point made here Ken. I find that my first line of defense is prayer. If the enemy can tempt me away from that prayer, he can lead me far astray and fairly quickly. Stopping the devil, stopping the part of me that is so easily influenced by him is only done by my faithfulness to the secret place of prayer.
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Guard the gates.