A Broken-hearted Father

Isaiah 1:1-31

Isa 1:1  The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Isa 1:2  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Isa 1:3  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Isa 1:4  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Isa 1:5  Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

Isa 1:6  From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. (The famines, increasing devastation from storms, the droughts that plaque some areas of our land, are because God’s people are not being the salt and light He commanded us to be: see Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21; Mark 16:15 (doesn’t say go show; says go tell); Luke 11:33. 

Isa 1:7  Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. (because His people, His children, those who are called by His name, are not walking in obedience to Him)

Isa 1:8  And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. (Daughter of Zion means the apple of God’s eye, the His favorite child)

Isa 1:9  Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Isa 1:10  Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

Isa 1:11  To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

Isa 1:12  When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

Isa 1:13  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

Isa 1:14  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

Isa 1:15  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

Isa 1:16  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Isa 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isa 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isa 1:19  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

Isa 1:20  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Isa 1:21  How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

Isa 1:22  Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

Isa 1:23  Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

Isa 1:24  Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

Isa 1:25  And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

Isa 1:26  And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Isa 1:27  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Isa 1:28  And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

Isa 1:29  For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.

Isa 1:30  For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.

Isa 1:31  And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

 Although this was written to the Jews, God’s original chosen people (and still chosen today), this also applies to those of us who claim to be His followers.

God has poured out His blessings upon us. He has heard our prayers, given us every good thing the earth has to offer, given us eternal life, sanctified (set apart for His good purpose) us, cleansed us, forgiven our sins, and how do we treat Him? How do we treat His word?

We live like the world. We compromise, whether out of fear of repercussions, or out of not wanting to give offense, it offends God. We treat His word like a smorgasbord from which we can pick and choose which verses, phrases, commands to live by, and which ones to ignore. Thus the world sees us as hypocrites, people with a shallow religion, a religion with no substance.

 If we want God to hear our prayers, if we want His blessings on our nation, then we need to get back to calling right right and wrong wrong. We are NOT to do this in criticism and judgment, but in love and compassion. That doesn’t mean compromise. It means being a good example to the world around us. We need to show them God’s love but also His holiness.

 Some people will be offended. No one likes being told that they are wrong. People were offended at Jesus too. But if you are not willing to be rejected for His sake, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me.” (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23). We will either stand for Jesus here, or we will stand against Him and suffer like all unbelievers.

 Warning: Please DO NOT take this as license to harm anyone who is not a believer. Jesus never attacked or condemned the unbelievers. His chastisement (punishment, anger, etc.) was against the religious leaders who made a big show of being better than everyone else. We believers in the triune Godhead are not better. We are just like the unbelievers, but we are saved by God’s grace and mercy, trying to learn to live by His standards so that others will see His love, grace, mercy, and compassion in us and want it for themselves. We need to be salt and light. Live a life that makes others hunger and thirst for what they see in us. Our country will stand or fall, not because of those who don’t believe, but because those of us who do are not being the examples we need to be. Let’s stop listening to the ear-tickling preachers and get down to some teaching and preaching that makes us want to be more like Jesus. Let’s stop breaking God’s heart.

Christians Arise

Let me begin with a struggle of my own, but which I feel is common among believers.

Ants. My “house” (travel trailer and only home) has tiny black ants. Can’t tell if they are sugar ants, or the ones that come in looking for salt, or the ones that look for water. I am not overwhelmed with them; there are small clusters here and there, an occasional ant in my chair, a few on my computer, some around the commode, a few in the closet, etc. We have sprayed. We have taken everything out of cabinets, sprayed, washed every dish and surface. Guess what: they’re still here.

I have pleaded with the Lord to take them away. I feel like I’m under a plague because they won’t go away. I even got bit while in my bed a couple of nights ago. This morning I wept before the Lord, asking Him to please show me what needs fixing in my life so He will take them away. I read my Bible, walked my granddaughter’s dog, prayed, read my Bible some more, prayed some more.

At last the answer[s] came: 1) I forgot to be thankful in all things. 2) I forgot to REJOICE in all things. 3) I forgot that every trial is for the perfecting of my faith. 4) I forgot that ALL things work together for good, for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. Bottom line: I needed a new perspective and an attitude adjustment.

You see, as Christians we are bound to be heading for some major spiritual battles in this country as the world begins to see Christians as the cause of all of its problems. Galatians 4:21-29. We have (as a whole) become complacent because we have had it easy here. There are many of us that truly walk with the Lord without compromise. However, there are many others who do compromise with the world because we don’t want to make waves, hurt anyone’s feelings, or be criticized.

Jesus offended people in His day, and people are still offended at Him today. We need to speak the truth in love, but still speak it. We need to “not be afraid of their faces.” Jer. 1:8.

God’s message to me: Rejoice in these trials that you may be strengthened for worse trials to come. Be strong in me. Rejoice in my plan for you. If you can be patient through this trial, you will come forth as gold. Rejoice that I have enough love for you to teach you these lessons and make you stronger. Rejoice in Me, for I have overcome the world, and given you eternal life. Worship and praise Me. Be willing to become more like me.