Scripture reassures us, "No one who trusts God like this - heart and soul - will ever regret it."
It's exactly the same no matter what a person's religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help.
"Everyone who calls, 'Help, God!' gets help."
But how can people call for help if they don't know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven't heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?
And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That's why Scripture exclaims, A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God!
But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: "Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?"
The point is, Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ's Word is preached, there's nothing to listen to.
But haven't there been plenty of opportunities for Israel to listen and understand what's going on? Plenty, I'd say. Preachers' voices have gone 'round the world, Their message to earth's seven seas.
So the big question is, Why didn't Israel understand that she had no corner on this message? Moses had it right when he predicted, When you see God reach out to those you consider your inferiors - outsiders! - you'll become insanely jealous. When you see God reach out to people you think are religiously stupid, you'll throw temper tantrums.
Isaiah dared to speak out these words of God: People found and welcomed me who never so much as looked for me. And I found and welcomed people who had never even asked about me.
Then he capped it with a damning indictment: Day after day after day, I beckoned Israel with open arms, And got nothing for my trouble but cold shoulders and icy stares.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)