Hype Man

Who is like me? Let him proclaim it! – Isaiah 44:6

I joke with a couple of buddies that I must be losing brain cells, that or just starting to see things I was too uptight to recognize before. I was never a Wrestling fan in my younger years.  I was a “real” athlete and looked down on the show.  One thing in particular always annoyed me.  All my coaches were hard guys.  You don’t find their type anymore.  But they were all the type to quote Bear Bryant, “if you score a touchdown, act like you’ve been there before.”  It was not that they were not emotional or stunted as the cliché would have it.  The teaching was use that emotion to power something that helps, like running over the linebacker, not the cheap release of the touchdown dance or bat flip.  The one particular thing that annoyed me about wrestling was “thy hype man.”  That’s the guy who comes in with the guy holding up the belt.  He’s the guy who is “talking smack” about what the champ is going to do to the poor guy in the ring with him.  He’s the guy (kinda like me) who likes to hear his own voice and if that is in service of some semi-literate brute, that’s fine.  It pays, and the brute can back it up.  If he can’t, you find a new brute.

In the middle of Isaiah you find the passage where God is his own hype man.  “Thus says THE LORD…The King of Israel…and his Redeemer…the LORD of hosts.” You can hear the cadence. The hype man reeling off the titles and the glory.  Oh, you think you are getting into the ring?  Do you know who you are getting into the ring with? 

“I am the first…and the last…besides me…there is no God.” I pity you.  You think that stone thing can compete with me?  You think whatever idol you’ve made can stand in my presence. You better look again.

“Who is like me? Let him proclaim it!”  This is so lopsided you can’t even find a hype man to join you.  There is no one like me and there never will be one like me.  And you know it.  Everybody knows it.

“Since I appointed an ancient people.  Let them declare what is to come and what will happen.”  I was before you and will be after you.  I was so before you I don’t just have a hype man, I have a hype nation. They have a long history with me.  They know what is coming.  Hype nation, let them know.  I’m taking a break, you let them know for a bit.

“Fear not, nor be afraid, have I not told you from of old? You are my witnesses!” Oh I’m not giving up the mike. But can I get a witness.  I need an Amen!  My corner men need to tell you how nobody has ever touched me.  Hype nation, sing my praises.  Let me hear you!

“Is there a God besides me?  There is no Rock; I know not any.”  Not even The Rock is going to be your rock.  There is only me.  There is only one sure bet. And you are hearing The WORD!

I’m not sure how God as hype-man maps onto salvation history.  It isn’t one of the metaphors or types that get emphasized in seminary. But maybe we need to hear hype nation occasionally. This guy has been in the ring since the dawn of history.  The Jews can witness.  And nobody has knocked him off yet.  Satan thought he had his moment on a hill far away. And then – bam! – nothing could hold Him.  The body wasn’t even cold when he reclaimed those belts.

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