His message was very clear-cut and direct

Isaiah 1

Isaiah prophesied during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah reigned over Judah, vs 1. His message was very clear-cut and direct. He got straight to the point. Israel had rebelled, rejected and alienated themselves from God, despite the fact that He had been their Creator and Provider!

As a result, they were weighed down by evil deeds and as good as dead! Their land is devastated, their cities burned with fire and right before their eyes their crops were destroyed by foreign invaders! They were heading towards complete destruction just like Sodom and Gomorrah, vs 2-10!

What was most surprising was that inspite of all their apostasies, they never lagged behind in offering their sacrifices, offerings and prayers and celebrating their holy days unto the Lord! But God was tired of carrying the burden of their sin-stained celebrations and His ears turned away from their prayers because their hands were covered with the blood of those whom they oppressed! They failed to give justice to the widow and the orphan, their officials were rebels, they associated with thieves, all of them love bribery, and looked for payoffs, vs 11- 15, 21-23. Through Isaiah the prophet, God was calling them back to repentance, restitution and restoration.

If they returned with a willing and obedient attitude, then they would again eat the good crops of the land, vs 16-19, but if they chose not to, then God assured them that they would be devoured by the sword and consumed by fire, vs 20, 24-31! It is quite possible that we too may be engaged in a lot of ‘activity’ and ‘service’ for God’s Kingdom, while harbouring sin in our hearts! Obedience to God’s Word must take precedence over every work we could ever do for God, His Kingdom and His people.

Let us be warned that if peace, joy and righteousness, (with God and man) in the Holy Spirit, is not the foundation for all our service unto the Lord and His people, then we stand in the same danger as God’s people, Israel did! Let us take this opportunity to honestly acknowledge and correct our backslidings by choosing the path of repentance, restitution and restoration, so that God’s highest purposes may be fulfilled in and through us in our generation! Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.