Isaiah 42:14-25 has two portions. The first talks of God leading the blind along paths they had not known or had not thought possible (vv 14-17). Sawyer (1986) says “the second explains in truly Isaianic idiom what that blindness refers to (vv 18-25)” (p 68).
It seems to me that Isaiah isn't talking about the physically blind or about those that lack knowledge of his ways. He is clearly talking about people who believe they are God's people but who live in ways that God does not desire. They are blind to God's way and to the direction in which God seeks to lead his people.
If this is true then when God talks of leading the blind in paths that they thought were not possibly or they did not see then maybe we need to recognise the limitations of our own understanding. As I explore economics, the overriding thought is that our economic system is about restricting people and bringing them into bondage. It depends on money being available and binding people through debit.
If we look at creation, we see that God has created it with a lot of potential, beauty, and resources. The economic system should be about allowing people to contribute to the needs of creation in a way that isn't limited by some accounting for the exchange. The difficulty is that we have indoctrinated our society to the view that each individual must get a fair price for what they produce and that this is dictated by the supply of money.
If we take this Isaiah passage seriously then we need to recognise that God seeks a way that we cannot see and that we don't see as possible. If I believe God's way is one of meeting the needs of creation and each other then I need to act that way believing that in God's economy, he will meet my needs.
When I think of the cycling / triking journey around the UK and maybe further afield, I keep thinking in terms of how I might feed myself and cover accommodation costs. I also think in terms of the purpose; a photographic journey or a challenge to new economic ways. Jesus sent his disciples out with nothing to preach the good news. Am I prepared to trust that God will provide if this journey is really part of his plan?
When I went out for a ride with a friend on Monday evening, I reflected on the different purposes of our riding. My friend is out travel as far as possible as quickly as possible almost like I used to do when I was training for racing and sometimes still do. To some extent, this is the issue that I raise in Friday's (5 August 2011) cycling blog. At times, I see my riding as one of pilgrimage. A pilgrimage in which I explore God's creation and the way that He seeks us to live within it. Distance isn't the issue. Rather it is what can be learnt, shared, and given.
On my last ride (25 July 2011), I set my target as Oxford. Without the camera, I rode to get there in reasonable time. How would that journey have been different if I had taken time to stop and reflect, to interact with people and with God's creation? We are so interested in the goal that we have lost sight of the journey. Maybe we need to be less concerned about getting there and more concerned about what happens along the way.
Sawyer, J. F. A. (1986). Isaiah (Vol. 2). Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.