8/5/2011 Another image for the Handwritten Bible Project this time on Isaiah 57.
This passage begins and ends with two contrasting images, one is the peace of the righteous in death (even if death is premature) and the other, from a phrase that has passed into the proverbs of our culture: ‘There is no peace for the wicked’ . The bulk of the passage is about idolatry and greed (a form of idolatry) and the two images try to contrast what the righteous and the wicked count as wealth, what they truly value. One shows the what is truly valued, the other shows the false god that needs rescuing by the ones it enslaves in idolatrous worship. The same God is involved in both situations, for one it is the reward of faith, for the other it is the reward of faith too, the reward is different for each and befits the faith they live by.
Many would question the morality of a God who allows suffering and the death of the righteous; surely it should be the other way round – the righteous should live and the wicked should perish. It is the other way round. For the righteous, even though they might cry out to God in their suffering, their reward is peace and life eternal; peace because they trust God even when they have no hope for life in this world; they trust in a God who transcends death and will bring them to life.
The wicked live because God gives them time to repent.