I'm preaching through Isaiah on Sunday mornings. I'm in a section where God prophesies the judgment of nations. He mainly wants Judah to stop relying on alliances with nations and to start trusting Him. In the midst of these prophecies, through Isaiah God brings in the city of Jerusalem (chapter 22). In that context, God wants his people to know that they are just as bad as these other nations, so they should look at themselves first. What God wants for Jerusalem and Judah is to project themselves into the future in order to get a feeling now about how it will be then. Normally we can't get the feeling of how bad things will be until those things actually get here.
I typed up a resume for my dad today. He's retiring from teaching after 30 years. He's looking for something part time that will supplement his social security. I made it look really good. Maybe we could put on our resumes: Projectionist. Why? Because we project ourselves forward to see where our present behavior is taking us. Not where we hope it will go, but where God says it will take us.
Judah needed to understand that her behavior was leading her toward a siege. Isaiah made this prophecy around BC700. The siege of Jerusalem would come from the very nation Judah thought with which she could allign herself for her own protection. Sennacharib and the Assyrian army, with its divisions of Medes and Persians, would park their chariots right outside the city walls, filling the surrounding valleys. Jerusalem's leaders would try to run and they would be killed. Those who died in the city wouldn't get it from arrows, but from starvation, deprivation, and disease. Their armory, the house of the forest, would be of no avail. Her desperate strategies of numbering her men, tearing down houses to patch the deteriorating walls, and inspecting the lower pools for water supply would all come to naught.
Despite this future, Jerusalem was rollicking on its housetops, festivly laughing, slaughtering its best animals and drinking its best fruit of the vine in a celebration feast. The Projectionist would have shaved his head, put on his sackcloth, and cried out in humble penitence for forgiveness and deliverance. Just because Jerusalem wouldn't project herself to this certain future didn't mean that God wouldn't fulfill this very prophecy if she didn't repent.
Where do you think that your present beliefs and lifestyle are leading you? Don't blame it on God if you get there. He has painted us a picture and now graciously given us an opportunity to click on the delete button. You might think you are missing something in the short term, but if you be a Projectionist you will see that your short term gratification, as good as it might seem or even is, will not be worth it in the long run. If you will allow yourself to run this reel to its end, you'll find out that everything wasn't going to end like you thought it was, even if you wish it could. If you can get sick enough about what's going to happen, not just to you, but even perhaps to many, many others around you, all of the tape you're watching could end on the cutting room floor.
Do you get the picture?