“Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting rock”
If you have followed me for long, you realize that I have a Hupomone fetish. The word is just cool. So as I was reading Isaiah and Jeremiah, I kept hearing over and over, “These guys are real Hupomone Men”. Yes, when I read Scripture I often hear things and no it is not always God. Sometimes it is something like, “There is ice cream in the freezer.” In this case it really made me focus not so much on the message that these two great prophets delivered but on the lives that these two great prophets lived. The message made them prophets of God. The lives make them men of God, Hupomone men.
Last week we established that Isaiah and Jeremiah were Hupomone men because they were called by God. You may be thinking, “Well that let’s me off the hook. I am not called to be a prophet!”. The Romans may have been have been thinking the same thing when Paul disabused them of that idea by opening the epistle to Rome with:
…Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:4b-7
Yes, we are not all called to be prophets but we are called to obedience, called to sainthood (hagios comes from a root that indicates purity, freedom from sin). This call for Jeremiah and Isaiah took on the face of the prophetic, serving an Israel that had lost its way. This call may well be very different for each person reading this blog. The call is not to a specific vocation but to “the obedience of the faith”. Jesus makes it clear that the call is not enough. In his parable of the wedding guests he concludes, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14. As we look at the story (and I am not going to recount the whole thing here…grab your Bible and read it!) we see that the hapless guest to whom Jesus refers was called to the party but behaved himself out of being chosen to stay. This is where we see that the call is not enough. So what is this other thing, this next step that sets Isaiah and Jeremiah and all those Hupomone men before and after them apart from the crowd?
If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
Joshua in his fairly famous soliloquy before the people of Israel says, “choose for yourselves today” Isaiah and Jeremiah had many todays in their combined 100 years of prophetic service to God. The next quality that set them apart as true Hupomone men is:
Isaiah and Jeremiah both made a daily choice to serve God.
They came dressed in their wedding clothes day after day. Even when all of the other prophets were sporting Bermuda Shorts and Hawaiian Shirts, they came in wedding clothes. Even when the King made it clear that the honeymoon was over, they came in wedding clothes, and while Scripture does not record it, tradition tells us that even when it meant death, they came in wedding clothes. They were wedding clothes of obedience, truth and purity. They are the wedding clothes of the Hupomone Man.