His beloved people whom He has cherished have departed from Him. That is the way of man and remains to be to this day. But He is not like us. He does not wash His hands of us. He does not dismiss us as a failed endeavor wasted on ungrateful children determined to have their own way-whether it ultimately benefits them or not.

We did it our way. And what is there to be proud of that? Wayward, spoiled, ungrateful infants who greedily take His provision, dismissing where it came from, worse, grabbing it and running as far away from Him as possible to enjoy that which He provided. The irony, the insult adding to insult, blaming Him when it is gone, but never crediting Him when He gives it. Ignoring Him, leaving Him when they, we, have sufficient provision to be comfortable and blaming Him when we don’t or crying to Him when we don’t. When we have it we credit our efforts, intellect etc. forgetting who blessed us with the ability to even move our bodies from one end of the room to another, or the ability to form the simplest of thoughts when we know so many who do not have either of those abilities. Leaving Him to pursue that which feeds our ego, our self-esteem our need to be amused. It is a sad history we have amassed for ourselves, surely when observed objectively is unworthy of those who were created in His image. His ways and our ways, as far as the east is from the west? Further, much further.

The chapters He has selected are Isaiah 2-3 which detail our abhorrent character and His gracious, merciful-beyond measure-determination to save us.  

The book of Isaiah is from the Old Testament; this behavior has been occurring repeatedly ever since then and will continue until He determines it is time to call an end to it. But even given our consistent history, He still brought His Son to us to die so that we may live.

Jesus suffered the pain and shame of the cross over 2000 years ago. We have not changed, but neither has He. And thank God, thank Him or we wouldn’t be here letting Him bless us with yet another chance, multiple chances to let Him into our lives-to bring us back to “His image,” to what He intended us to be from inception. Despite our centuries-old disgraceful behavior, He tries, He only gives up when He and only He, knows we have traveled so far that we will never find our way back, even with His heart, His love for us. That is the saddest day of all, for He is relentless for us. He is our Savior. Even when He corrects us, especially when He corrects us, that is when He is doing His utmost to save, despite His weariness.

Isaiah 43 (NKJV)

But you have burdened me with your sins     and wearied me with your offenses.

Yet, His love is fierce, we may weary Him with our transgressions but He continues.

Psalm 121 (NKJV)

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

A Song of Ascents.

121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your [b]keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall [c]preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve[d] your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Evil may surround you, but you will be preserved, meaning your soul shall be preserved.

“He shall preserve your soul.”

And what, what could be more important than that? Your body dies, all bodies die, your soul lives on to be either with Him or without Him. Actually, that is the saddest of all. There is no other love like His. None. Not possible. To be deprived of that for an eternity, when this kind of love is ours…..for the asking. That realization, might be worse than the physical consequences. Maybe that is why we are in constant torment, maybe the intensity of it is so horrific that we ache like our flesh is being burned alive. Who knows?

Only He does, and those who are experiencing it right now, and they cannot escape to warn us, which is why He will “neither slumber nor sleep.”

The Lord is your [b]keeper,” He keeps us out of his clutches. Maybe that is what has made him like a ravenous lion, roaming endlessly:

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Imagine, knowing His love, actually being in His presence and he chose, without a gun to his head, but willingly chose to leave Him, because of pride, ego. He wanted to be like God. Be admired, be worshiped, and be as powerful as God.

He was said to be the most attractive angel of all, musically gifted like no other. He like us, did not consider who bestowed the blessings upon him, but wanted to be given credit for it, adored for it, admired for it. He knew the idea was tempting so he used it on Eve. He uses it to this day. Pride, our worst enemy, responsible for the most repugnant of acts.

The premise is simple, I am better than you, consequently I am more important than you, you are inferior, you are not important, so I can use you to benefit me at your expense and be justified to do so, with my perspective. World War 2, the Nazi atrocities, and so many others too numerous to address are the result of the same mindset.

But that is on a mass scale. More numerous are the everyday occurrences that have become all too common, justified by, “it’s  a dog eat dog,” “business is business…..” “I have to get mine,” “there’s no free lunch,” “do unto others before they do unto you.” All rationalizations to allow us to do that which comes naturally.   His ways and ours. Aren’t you glad He is God, and not one of us

Isaiah 43 (NKJV)

Israel’s Only Savior

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—     he who created you, Jacob,     he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;     I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters,     I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,     they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,     you will not be burned;     the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,     the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom,     Cush[a] and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight,     and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you,     nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you;     I will bring your children from the east     and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’     and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar     and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name,     whom I created for my glory,     whom I formed and made.”

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,     who have ears but are deaf. All the nations gather together     and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this     and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,     so that others may hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,     “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me     and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed,     nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord,     and apart from me there is no savior. 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—     I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 13     Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand.     When I act, who can reverse it?”

God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness

14 This is what the Lord says—     your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon     and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,[b]     in the ships in which they took pride. 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,     Israel’s Creator, your King.”

16 This is what the Lord says—     he who made a way through the sea,     a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses,     the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again,     extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things;     do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!     Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness     and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me,     the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness     and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21     the people I formed for myself     that they may proclaim my praise.

22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,     you have not wearied yourselves for[c] me, Israel. 23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,     nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings     nor wearied you with demands for incense. 24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,     or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins     and wearied me with your offenses.

Our sins, our transgressions have “wearied,” but read the next verse:

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out     your transgressions, for my own sake,     and remembers your sins no more. 26 Review the past for me,     let us argue the matter together;     state the case for your innocence. 27 Your first father sinned;     those I sent to teach you rebelled against me. 28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;     I consigned Jacob to destruction[d]     and Israel to scorn.

He continues, His motivation is not selfish, it is always to bless us, to love us:

Hosea 11 (NKJV)

God’s Continuing Love for Israel

11 “When Israel was a [a]child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. 2 [b]As they called them, So they went [c]from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images.

“I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by [d]their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with [e]gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their [f]neck. I stooped and fed them.

“He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent. And the sword shall slash in his cities, Devour his districts, And consume them, Because of their own counsels. My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though [g]they call [h]to the Most High, None at all exalt Him.

“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart [i]churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not [j]come with terror.

10 “They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west; 11 They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, Like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses,” Says the Lord.

Isaiah 2 (NKJV)

The Future House of God

2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning [a]hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

The Day of the Lord

O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the Lord.

For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways; They are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they [b]are pleased with the children of foreigners. Their land is also full of silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land is also full of horses, And there is no end to their chariots. Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made. People bow down, And each man humbles himself; Therefore do not forgive them.

10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty. 11 The [c]lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up— And it shall be brought low— 13 Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, And upon all the oaks of Bashan; 14 Upon all the high mountains, And upon all the hills that are lifted up; 15 Upon every high tower, And upon every fortified wall; 16 Upon all the ships of Tarshish, And upon all the beautiful sloops. 17 The [d]loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The Lord alone will be exalted in that day, 18 But the idols [e]He shall utterly abolish.

19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the [f]earth, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.

20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, 21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.

22 Sever[g] yourselves from such a man, Whose breath is in his nostrils; For [h]of what account is he?

Isaiah 3 (NKJV)

Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem

For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah The[a] stock and the store, The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water; The mighty man and the man of war, The judge and the prophet, And the diviner and the elder; The captain of fifty and the [b]honorable man, The counselor and the skillful artisan, And the expert enchanter.

“I will give children[c] to be their princes, And [d]babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, Every one by another and every one by his neighbor; The child will be insolent toward the [e]elder, And the [f]base toward the honorable.”

When a man takes hold of his brother In the house of his father, saying, “You have clothing; You be our ruler, And let these ruins be under your [g]power,” In that day he will protest, saying, “I cannot cure your ills, For in my house is neither food nor clothing; Do not make me a ruler of the people.”

For Jerusalem stumbled, And Judah is fallen, Because their tongue and their doings Are against the Lord, To provoke the eyes of His glory. The look on their countenance witnesses against them, And they declare their sin as Sodom; They do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves.

10 “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be [h]given him. 12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you [i]cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.”

Oppression and Luxury Condemned

13 The Lord stands up to [j]plead, And stands to judge the people. 14 The Lord will enter into judgment With the elders of His people And His princes: “For you have [k]eaten up the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 15 What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the faces of the poor?” Says the Lord God of hosts.

16 Moreover the Lord says:

“Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with [l]outstretched necks And [m]wanton eyes, Walking and [n]mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet, 17 Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the Lord will uncover their secret parts.”

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the [o]scarves, and the crescents; 19 The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; 20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, 21     and the rings; The nose jewels, 22     the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23     and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.

24 And so it shall be:

Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And [p]branding instead of beauty. 25 Your men shall fall by the sword, And your [q]mighty in the war.

26 Her gates shall lament and mourn, And she being desolate shall sit on the ground.

He blessed them with provision, they wanted more. They took from the poor, the vulnerable, were able to live a life of opulence while leaving the defenseless without their home.

“For you have [k]eaten up the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 15 What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the faces of the poor?” Says the Lord God of hosts.

Yet knowing where it came from, they were still proud:

16 Moreover the Lord says:

“Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with [l]outstretched necks And [m]wanton eyes, Walking and [n]mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet, 17 Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the Lord will uncover their secret parts.”

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the [o]scarves, and the

And they were proud, using their money to buy:

The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, 21     and the rings; The nose jewels, 22     the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23     and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the [o]scarves, and the crescents; pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; 20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, 21     and the rings; The nose jewels, 22     the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23     and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.

But the Lord is a gracious God, He prefers to extend mercy not correction. He prefers to take our sin upon Him, our pain upon Him so that we will be spared.

Share His word. He deserves so much more, this is the very least we can do.

 

 

 [DG1]