Friday, August 5, 2011

Isaiah 24-27....the coming apocalypse

These chapters are sometimes called Isaiah's apocalypse.  Isaiah has railed against Israel and Judah and their leaders for failing to be obedient to God and for failing to trust him in times of difficulty.  Instead these nations established by God have resorted to entangling alliances with pagan kings and pagan countries.  God is growing weary of their two faced allegiance.  Isaiah speaks of a day of destruction.

Certainly destruction and devastation came to these countries as God used Assyria and Babylonia to destroy Israel and to carry them off into exile, but these passages also serve as a warning to 21st century Christians and to countries who consider themselves to be Christian.  In an age of pluralism and multi-culturalism and political correctness we run the risk of failing to acknowledge God, his edicts and his commands and in so doing accepting sin as normal in and around us.  God speaks emphatically about caring for the widows, the children, the poor and the sick.  How are we doing with that as millions across the globe are dying in refugee camps.  How are we doing in caring for the weak and disenfranchised when women and children are being sold into slavery in nearly every country in the world including America?  How are we doing in protecting those without voice when multinational companies become wealthier and more powerful while unemployment and the related socio-economic ills grow in epidemic proportions?

Isaiah speaks of a coming day of judgement when not just the sinner will know the power of God and his desire for righteousness, but even the earth will waste because of humanity's sinful nature.  Perhaps some of that wasting is already apparent as we have days when our air is unhealthy to breath, when we pollute our oceans and streams and the earth suffers from erosion as we clear cut our forests.  Where are those great forests of Lebanon that the Bible speaks of? 

There is a price to pay when we fail to have Christian dominion over the earth that the Lord has trusted to us.  There is a price to pay when we ignore God's principles for righteous living.  Will the apocalypse be a time when all of the errors of mankind reach some sort of tipping point and the earth simple implodes because of the gravity of our abuse toward each other and toward this great gift of creation?

Isaiah calls Israel and Judah and us back to the temple.  He asks us to repent of our sin.  He tells us of God's great mercy and grace.  Will we acknowledge him?  Will we receive his gift of love?  Will we become followers of his call to righteousness?  Will we be instruments of redemption as we offer his better way to the world around us?

Today we are receiving showers of rain that are renewing the earth.  I know that the earth and we are blessed by the rainfall.  So, too, would God bless us if we would turn our faces to him, invest ourselves in his plan of redemption and walk in his will and his way.  Come Lord Jesus and show us your better way.

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