Our passage from the Bible today is Isaiah Chapter 9 verse 8 through to Chapter 10 verse 4. I have crossed a chapter boundary because there seems to be a continuity and this refrain that appears 4 times, ‘Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.’ (Ch.9 v.12, v.17, v.21, Ch.10 v.4).
After the excitement of the future hope outlined at the beginning of Chapter 9 here is the reality on the ground in Isaiah’s time, as God’s judgement comes down on the people of Israel.
It is in many ways a depressing passage, both because of their sin and disobedience, but also their failure to turn back to the Lord when things go wrong, but to continue as before thinking they will sort it out themselves.So there is pride and arrogance in the face of disaster (v.9), a refusal to repent (v.13), a sense of increased wickedness as they get more desperate (vs.20-21), and the stronger taking it out on the weak and vulnerable (Ch.10 vs.1-2).
Now all this is a description of God’s people a long time ago, but I think when we read of such judgements, we should be looking at ourselves as individuals and as a church or as a nation, and asking ourselves the questions, ‘Are we like this in some way? Could we be? Would we turn back to the Lord or carry on as before?’
I am reminded of Jesus’ teaching at the beginning of Luke Chapter 13 about bad things happening to other people, and Jesus’ application is that we shouldn’t point the finger at their sin, but rather check on our own standing before the Lord, and look at our own sin and repent if we need to.
We are back at the beginning again in our cycle of prayer so let us remember today,- Colin & Penny- Martin & Lucie