Today’s Reading: Isaiah 1:1-17, 21-26; 2:6-18; 3:8-4:1; 5:1-25; 32:9-11
Today’s reading in Isaiah is interesting, because although this is a record of the words Isaiah prophesied, in actual fact, it has the characteristic which I value most about the Bible – and that is – that in actual fact it is a record of God, my heavenly Father’s thoughts! And because they are His thoughts, I can trust the accuracy of the observations 100 per cent. It begins with the statement of hopelessness of God’s people, Israel, to do what is right! Not sure if that has sunk in on you as it has weighed me down – the inability on one’s own power to do God’s will. This is the lesson which I learned from the record of the kings! Then a parable with the sense which I occasionally have – what more could I have done to help someone close to me, who perhaps has chosen a path, not according to God’s will! But I am encouraged, not only that God has such feelings (!), but also by the bright spots which pop up every once in a while, as our Heavenly Father reflects on the certainty that everything will be straightened out in the end (for His people in the best possible sense, and for those who are not – certainly He will judge righteously!).
Then comes a list of 12 sins of which Judah was involved in! Interesting for me that the first is “religious formalism.” Does that mean this is beginning of the downward path? Certainly in the seven churches’ messages in Revelation 2 and 3, this was the beginning of the downward road for those churches. The first step is a losing of one’s first love (where Jesus is everything) and losing that then my faith becomes just a formal thing! So a hymn I sometimes sing, has the words – “Oh teach me quickly to return, and cause my heart afresh to burn!”
Interesting that each sin has its own appeal to us as individuals. Some appeals are not as great, so as a man, although I note the relevance of the one called “sin of the women,” it doesn’t cut deeply like others such as sin of pride? sin of idolatry? sin of leaders? etc. Take note of the one which seems to jump out at you and pray humbly over it, asking God, our loving Father to use it to speak to you.
Probably the sin of greed is a common one to us all. Probably, from what I can see in 1 John 2, a sin which besets us in middle-age, to want to have as much or more than the next person to us and think that that brings us status. But such a thought is a worldly standard! What really gives me status is that I am a loved child of God! Beyond that, Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!” I know that what it is actually talking about is the troubles in this world, versus what we will get in the future, but I think that it also applies to worldly goods as versus our being blessed by our Heavenly Father!
Interesting, isn’t it, (just noticed it) that the sin of injustice is mentioned twice! Is that because it is important to God Himself? He is always just and impartial in His dealings with each of us. And to some brothers and sisters who were suffering for Christ’s sake, he reminds them, (Heb. 6:10), “God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians, as you still do!” – still do? Hopefully so! Have a good day, veering away from the sins mentioned while continuing to care for others!