Thursday, August 4, 2011

Isaiah 13-23, An Oracle Concerning:

These chapters reveal God's warnings against most of the Middle Eastern Countries that surround Israel including Babylon, Assyria, the Philistines, Moab, Damascus, Cush, Egypt and Tyre.  Other warnings are pronounced to Israel, Judah and Jerusalem.  God speaks against the alliances that Israel and Judah are entering into.  God's complaint: these are his people and their covenant since the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are that he shall be their God and they shall be his people.  He has delivered them time and time again and to trust in foreign alliances now is to walk away from their eternal protector.  Of course they have been walking away for generations as they have married foreign women who have introduced foreign gods.  Israel has forsaken the ways of the patriarchs and allowed the pagan ways of those who surround them to have greater and greater influence among God's people.  God has sent prophet after prophet to warn his people; to call them back to the shelter and protections that are afforded to a covenant people, but the leaders of Israel and Judah continue the downward spiral of morality that is always accompanied when sin is living unrestrained in the nation.

It is so interesting to look back on these stories and say in our own hearts how foolish these people were.......why can they not see the error of their ways?  How is it that they so easily forget the lessons of the past and the great displays of God's power that are part of their history?  Why is it so difficult to trust in a God who has proved himself to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent?  Perhaps we should as that question of ourselves as well.

Do we not do the same thing as the Israelites when we rely on our government to protect and establish a system of morality when we already have God's law to guide us?

Do we not do the same thing when we look to scientific predictions and analysis before we trust in the truth of the holy scriptures?

Do we not look to modern medicine and science as a way to insure our life and health rather than practice the mandates of scripture regarding living life victorious and abundant?

Do we not place our faith in the financial institutions, Wall Street, retirement accounts, etc. for our "security" rather than trusting God for all the days of our lives?

Do we act as though continuing education, college and university and advanced professional degrees will guarantee our future and our success without considering that God has a plan for our life, a plan to prosper and give us a hope and a future.

Are we not as guilty as the Israelites in trusting entities other than our Creator and God?  Should we not repent of our sin and turn to God for forgiveness, becoming again an obedient people who fully rely on God and his wisdom and will for our lives. 

The testimony of the scriptures seems always to say that those who fully rely on God are blessed indeed.  May we become a part of that blessing.

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