No Old Testament prophet was quoted more by Jesus Christ and the apostles than Isaiah, and together we are going to delve into the Word of God as we learn what Isaiah has to say. You may say, "But that's a book that was written so long ago." You're right. It was written long ago. And yet even today, you're going to discover that this is a book for our times, because it is going to sound so much like the church of Jesus Christ today. And in seeing all of this, there are incredible answers for you and for me; precepts for life that you and I can take and apply to our life, and as a result be prepared to see the Lord face to face.
As we move through the text, you'll discover truth for yourself as you see what the Word of God says. And then seeing what God says, you know and learn what He means, and how we are to apply that and live accordingly. God will use His Word to mature you, to perfect and complete you as a Christian, and He's going to use passages from the book of Isaiah to give you insight and understanding, so you can know what you are to do and how you are to live. We need knowledge. We need to know God. And if you're going to know God you've got to know the facts. And God has the facts in His Book.
Isaiah immediately puts us into context. "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." Then he says, "Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; for the LORD speaks, 'Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me.'" (Isaiah 1:1-2) Basically God's saying, "I brought you up, and you've turned around and you've kicked your heels at me. You revolted against Me. You've walked away." He says, "An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master's manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand." (Isaiah 1:3)
These words may have been written long ago, but God's principles are the same now as they were then. This is for your life, for you — today. What happens when you belong to God and you revolt against Him? What happens when you belong to God and you turn away from God? What happens when you do not understand because you don't want to understand? What happens when you do that?
Let's see what he goes on to say. "Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers..." (Isaiah 1:4). He's saying, "Listen, your sin is on you like such a horrible weight that it is a burden on your back that keeps you from ever looking up. You're miserable. You're weighed down with iniquity." Do you understand what he's talking about? Are you so burdened because you have so blown it, because you have so messed up with God, because you have walked your own way, because you have done your own thing?
Yes, you may name the name "Christian," but you're not walking like that. And so you're weighed down. You say, "I am down so bad that I don't think I can ever get up." Precious One, there is a way to get the weight off you. There is a way to quit looking down and to be able to look up. There is a way to walk without shame, without disgrace. You say, "But you don't know where I've been and you don't know what I've done." I'll say to you, "But you don't know and understand the grace of God and the provision God has made for you."
Beloved, God's business is redemption. God's business is forgiveness. God's business is to redeem you out of sin. God's business is restoration. What do you need to do? Let's look further in chapter one, verse 18. "'Come now....'" Here's a call to action, an action that will lead to God moving on your behalf. "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD, 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'" (Isaiah 1:18) We'd stop there, but we can't because there's something that you have to do. He says, "'If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land.'" (Isaiah 1:19) In other words, "If you will agree with Me," God says, "If you will consent, if you will acknowledge that you've revolted, that you've become the authority in your life and not Me; if you'll return to Me, and you will obey Me, then I will cleanse you, and there's no end to what I will do for you, but it requires consenting. It requires agreeing with Me. It requires obeying Me."
If you will acknowledge that sin is sin, if you will acknowledge that God is God, and that He has authority over you, and He is to be obeyed, then He says, "'...You will eat the best of the land; But...,'" and here's the contrast, "'...if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword....'" And then listen to what He says, "...Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 1:19-20) He's saying "You have a choice: a choice of blessing or a choice of judgment." You determine, you consent, you obey; you'll eat the best of the land. Otherwise, you'll be devoured from this land.
Beloved, what will be your choice?
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