Very different reactions are formed when asked as an invitation to COME to dinner, a party, or other such type of event as opposed to a command to COME to the police station, courtroom, or principal’s office. The invitation is optional while the command is not. COME as defined by Noah Webster is to rise, to move towards, to approach, and to advance. God shows us examples in His Word how this word COME can have strikingly different tones. Let us explore them in the books of Isaiah and Hebrews.
The forty-seventh chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy of the coming humiliation regarding the nation of Babylon. They were a highly intelligent and sophisticated superpower of their day. The Chaldeans, as they were called, were allowed by God to capture Israel as punishment for their unfaithfulness to Yahweh, and force them into exile. The penalty lasted seventy years. God had mercy on His chosen people, and because of His covenant with them, He brought the Israelites out of exile and led a great restoration of His people. The Chaldeans in the height of their glory days attributed their success to themselves and thus were inflamed with pride. To their demise, the dark arts were practiced regularly. Verse one NKJV where God is addressing the Chaldeans states, “COME down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.” There is a hint of sarcasm in this verse. Babylon was behaving as if they were “God’s daughter”; yet their cruel treatment of His true daughter Israel was about to be avenged. COME in this context is the Hebrew word yarad #3381 which means descend from a higher to a lower location. God was not inviting the Babylonian nation to relinquish their throne, He demoted them to the dust with one word-COME. Superpower. Highly intelligent and sophisticated. Relying on magic and the dark arts. None of it mattered. It only took one word spoken by God, and they were done. God was not mocked in their pride nor will He be in ours either.
Contrasting the plight of the prideful Babylonians with our weaknesses, we have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who steps in on our behalf to God the Father. As we confess our weaknesses as explained in Hebrews chapter 4:15, Jesus sympathizes with us. We are then offered the greatest invitation of all-one we should never decline. Verse sixteen says, “Let us COME boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” COME in the Greek #4334 is proserchomai meaning approach, draw near, ascent. The premise of this promise is confessing our weaknesses. When we surrender our will to God’s and admit that we are “not all that”, instead of Him commanding our descent off of our own made up thrones, we are invited to COME boldly to God’s throne of immeasurable grace.
COME. Will the LORD invite you to receive mercy, grace, and help in your time of need? Or will He command you to descend off of a self-proposed throne of pride? The choice is yours. Acknowledge Him for who He is giving Him glory for all He has done, not of yourselves that you should boast.