Welcome to Kindling for Candles! I chose the name for the blog from Isaiah 42 and Matthew 12. Within those passages there is justice, confrontation of evil, compassion, comfort and hope. Matthew opens chapter 12 by describing Jesus twice challenging the Pharisees, he goes on to tell of Jesus healing people, and he then writes,
17This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
18“BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN;
MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED;
I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM,
AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.
19HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT;
NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS.
20A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF,
AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT,
UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.
21AND IN HIS NAME THE NATIONS WILL HOPE.”1
R. T. France describes verse 20:
The weak and vulnerable (the smoldering wick is one in danger of going out altogether) are the special object of his mission, and he deals with them with all the gentleness offered to the over-burdened in 11:28–30. Far from letting them be broken and quenched, he will lead them to victory, for in him they will find justice, a word whose scope in the Old Testament is wider than the mere legal vindication, denoting rather the setting right of whatever is not as it should be, ‘the complete establishing of the will of God’.2
We have each had times in our lives when we have felt battered or like a candle that is smoldering and about to go out. The words of Isaiah and Matthew have given me encouragement in my darkest days, and those themes of justice, evil, compassion, comfort and hope speak to me deeply.
The word encourage has two parts: en- and the word courage. When you take en- and attach it to courage, you have a word that means to bring someone to courage. We need to be brought to courage as we falter when we are weary, lonely, devastated, or in dread of the mockery or actions of others. Sometimes we can’t even clearly see that a situation calls for courage because we lack the necessary moral clarity or understanding. We may have personal difficulties in which we need to brought to courage, or we may not be in danger or difficulties, but others are, and they need us to be brought to courage on their behalf so that we in turn can encourage them.
At Kindling for Candles I want to encourage you. If you’d like to know more about who I am, click on My Witness in the header, and “I Hold, I Am Held” underneath My Witness. Truth For The Heart describes the cornerstone of my content, and explains why I write what I write.
Candle: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications. (Site has been deleted since posting).
1In the NASB New Testament quotes of Old Testament passages are in all upper-case letters. Matthew 12:18–21 refers back to Isaiah 42:1–3
2R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI: 1985) 206–207.
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