a path in the mighty waters,
who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished,
quenched like a wick:
Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. Isaiah 43:16-21
My chosen people… Who are the chosen? We automatically jump to Israel as the chosen as the ones for whom God is doing a new thing. For these words were spoken to the people of Israel. While Israel as the chosen was the intended meaning of the author. I want to push the meaning of the words in the context, in a world outside of and different from those who wrote or first read this text. Within this passage before we have God giving drink to the chosen people. Those who are giving a drink are named. God is honored by the wild animals. The jackal and the ostrich honor God. To them God gives water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. These people – wild animals honor God and are given water. These wild animals have one of the same roles as Israel. They are to honor and praise God. These wild animals are as important as part of God’s creation as are humans. For it is the animals not humans who are given Water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
What would it mean if we were to think about wild animals as people? We have given corporations the right to be persons and yet disregard the life around us. Would our treatment of wild animals change as a result? Would they be guaranteed rights that would protect both the desert and wilderness?
Is the new thing God is doing to allow us to be part of a creation where we as human are not the only people to praise and honor God?
Great Spirit help us to perceive the new thing that you are about to do. Open us up to feel creation as the one who created the heaven’s and earth experienced it. Amen.