Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 3-5:30; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15; Psalm 53:1-6; Proverbs 22:28-29
isaiah 3 shows us what it is like to be under God’s judgement. Although these specific prophetic verses were spoken against Judah, God can, and does, employ the same judgements against nations today.
One judgement that caught my eye immediately was that God gives rebellious nations incompetent leaders (Isaiah 3:2:4). I don’t think there is any doubt that the government leadership in the United States – across both political parties and all branches of government – is inept. This has been true for decades. This situation is from God. He is trying to get us to look to Him rather than other humans to solve our problems.
God allows us to elect people with no real qualifications to lead (Isaiah 3:5) and this results in a breakdown of society. This is exactly what we are experiencing.
Back in the time of Isaiah people were not trying to hide their sin (Isaiah 3:9). Today we have people openly exposing their homosexuality, marrying members of the same gender, committing abortions, promoting greed (the list goes on) without any shame. Its safe to say we are doing exactly what Judah did. And we will therefore get the same results Judah got.
Notice that all of this is our own fault (Isaiah 3:9). We have no one to blame for our declining economy, wealth, and influence. God intended to bless us. But we turned our back on Him.
One of the problems in Judah was the obsession with material possessions (Isaiah 3:16-23). Today we have the same problem. People are concerned about having granite countertops, a new car every year, and the latest smartphone (the list goes on) . None of those things is important. They are earthly and will someday be gone.
Using an analogy of a vineyard, God tells us that He took great care of the vineyard yet it produced bitter grapes (Isaiah 5:1-2). God did everything He could do (Isaiah 5:4) but the land bore bad fruit. Similarly, God had given Judah (and the United States) much. He protected us and took care of us. Yet, we have paid Him back with sin.
The result is that the protection He gave will be torn down (Isaiah 5:5). This was true of Judah as they were conquered by Babylon shortly after this prophecy. God is likewise removing His protection from the United States. September 11, 2001 was just the beginning. Our enemies are now inside our borders and will no doubt someday (soon) attack us from within.
God is very patient. He gives us time to repent. But make no mistake, if that does not happen (and it doesn’t seem likely) we will pay for creating a society that is focused on entertainment (Isaiah 5:12), blatantly sins (Isaiah 5:18), taunts God (Isaiah 5:19), inaccurately twists God’s truth (Isaiah 5:20), is corrupt and denies justice (Isaiah 5:23). Sadly, I can’t think of words that describe the United States in 2013 better than those.
All this sin can be summed up thusly: people have rejected and despised God (Isaiah 5:24). Judah paid for this by being completely wiped out (Isaiah 5:25-30). The fate of the United States will be the same.
Human jealousy is self-centered. God’s jealousy is us-centered. God is jealous for us because He knows that if we follow anyone or anything but Him we will end up in hell. Paul was also jealous for the people in Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:2) and for all the churches he planted for the same reason. Following false teachings is spiritual adultery – its as if a spouse cheats on his or her partner (2 Corinthians 11:2). This is one reason why the institution of marriage is so important to God – it represents Jesus’ relationship with believers.
Christians today need to look at our lost friends and family the same way. The eternal destiny of people should be what motivates us to share the Gospel. It should bother us when they embrace lies (2 Corinthians 11:4). Not because of our egos. But because they are being lead down a destructive path.
Some of us are hesitant to present the Gospel message to others because we aren’t polished speakers. Neither was Paul (2 Corinthians 11:6). What we are not should not stop us. We have the truth that people need to hear and that should motivate us.
People are drawn to appearances. We elect leaders based on superficialities. We order food in restaurants that looks good. But outward appearance is not reality. One of the best modern-day examples is Susan Boyle. People looked at her, laughed, and decided she could not be a talented singer. But she proved them wrong.
Likewise, the “truths” that people follow such as Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, atheism, Mormonism, relative truth, etc may seem appealing but they will only destroy. Satan disguises himself as light (2 Corinthians 11:14) to mislead us. Just because something is appealing does not mean that it is right.
People were designed by God to be in relationship with Him. When people reject God they need to fill that void with something and that leads to evil because they turn to themselves for the answers that only God can provide. This is pride. God lets us make this choice if we want. God loves us and love does not force itself on anyone. But as Psalm 53 tells us in verse 1 – making this choice is foolishness.
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