Have your found out what your main and prime purpose is in life? The reason for your being here – what you are to do with your education – your gifts – your talents? It would be such a waste to go through life and not have answers to these matters. Let me speak about these important issues from the long successful life of Isaiah.
God is for ever setting before His people – choices – and challenges – and opportunities. That happens each time we come to His Word. This article is based upon the book of Isaiah and Chapter 1, where God is trying to attract and call His people back to Him. They have been rebellious and disobedient.
Jesus Christ continues to woo people too – seeking men and women to come to Him – to rescue and save and heal – holding out before people the best – and we know there is nothing higher or greater which we can offer people – but Jesus Christ and His Word.
Because of what had been going on in the nation of Israel and in the Temple, there had arisen serious problems in the city of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem had once been so faithful – now she was regarded as a harlot – a prostitute. She would run after any god. When you get away from God, and away from His Word, all kinds of things begin to go wrong. People’s behaviour deteriorates. People act terribly to those around them and begin to take it out on others.
God’s people had run after one lover after another – what is called elsewhere – ‘chasing the wind’ – or thinking the grass is greener in some other field.
In Jerusalem there used to be righteousness and justice. You could get a fair hearing in Jerusalem – because of what was laid down in this Word – but now the city was full of murderers – verse 21. This was serious.
The commercial wealth became valueless. It was like drinking sea water – satisfaction could not be attained – people always wanted more. The wine which was of good quality – had been diluted – watered down – indicating a degree of cheating – and sharp practices – which had NOT gone on in Jerusalem previously. Money had lost its value.
In verse 23 we read, “Your rulers are rebels, and becoming friendly with thieves.”
Everyone appeared to be after a bribe. What is in it for me? When people are on the make justice begins to go, and the first to suffer are the widows and orphans – those who cannot fight for themselves. They were trampled over and forgotten.
God says – I have investigated all this, and I have revealed it all to you, Isaiah. Now I am going to intervene. God was going to deal with the injustice – all the unrighteousness and corruption, among the people of God.
Man usually wants to deal with others – whom they blame. God says, “No – I am going to start with you.”
God makes moral demands upon His People. He has requirements in His Word, which He expects us to keep, and very often the leadership in a nation reflects the strength or weakness of the Church.
Very often what goes on in a nation is a direct consequence of the prayerfulness or prayerlessness of the people of God – those who are called by Jesus Christ.
God did act – and Jerusalem fell – and God raised up Jerusalem some years later and justice and righteousness returned – for a season – but only following Judgment!
Verse 28. Do all you can to avoid this. We are called to live, so that we need never be afraid of Jesus coming and investigating our affairs. One thing we see through the whole of this Word is this – what God says He is going to do He does! Very few believe that.
He investigates – and intervenes – and acts – but only after inviting us to settle matters and sort things out.
They had worshipped trees – and planted gardens – thinking they would be near to God is a garden. But see what happens when a little water is withheld. Verse 30.
Many have said that they feel nearer to God in a garden. There is a quite sentimental poem written about that. I see no scripture for that – only the opposite. It was in the perfect Garden of Eden that man first sinned and fell, and it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that the enemy came and manifest himself when Jesus was betrayed and arrested.
No – the only way to get near to God is through Jesus Christ, and soon in part of our nation we are not going to be allowed to say that and proclaim that legally.
Verse 31. Men who thought they were so strong and safe and powerful are burned by their own evil deeds – and there is no-one who can put the fire out. Never let it get lit.
Remain under the protective power of the Love of God. Remain safe knowing that the Blood of Jesus is like a shield around you – and if you happen to sin – that same blood will be there to cleanse you and wash you.
There is a nation to be changed – a dark world to be influenced with the light of God.
Be saturated in His Love – filled with His Spirit – enjoy obeying Him – pray for the leaders – avoid His Judgment – rejoice that He has spoken and that he continues to speak.
In all that God says – He has a purpose – hear Him – hear Him – because He chooses us to be part of His purpose in the world, and for the world.