Weekly Devotional 3-4-19
Spiritual Unfaithfulness and it’s Consequence
“1The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: ‘ I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; 3The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.’ 4Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. 5Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. 6From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up Or soothed with ointment. 7Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, As a hut in a garden of cucumbers, As a besieged city. 9Unless the Lord of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:1-9).
Israel had been chosen of God to be His witness to humanity, but because of their spiritual rebellion God raised up Isaiah and other prophets to alert them to His view of them and to warn of impending judgment. Israel was unfaithful to their calling and losing the blessing of God was overrun by Assyria and Babylon and was taken captive by these two nations. This did not need to happen. Had Israel remained faithful, they would have continued receiving God’s blessing and would have remained as His witness to the rest of mankind. Someday, at the end of this present dispensation, Israel will be restored and reemerge as the people through whom God will manifest His glory and benevolence but not before He has finished Israel’s transgression and made and end of their sin (See Daniel 9:24).
This is God’s view of Israel, but what about the Church of Jesus Christ? Does God view it differently than Israel? Has He not called us to the same holy standard? Yes, He has. He has called us as “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that we may proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light; we once were not a people, but we are now the people of God, we once had not obtained mercy, but we now have obtained mercy.” (See 1st Peter 2: 9-10). As Israel, we of the church are to be pure in thought and deed. We are to live according to His holy standards. To assure this possibility He has given His Spirit to indwell us. God Himself lives in each of us who have been granted new spirit life. It is possible for us to live holy lives. Not sinless lives, but godly lives (See 1st John 1:5-10). His Spirit has been given to alert us to sin, to create in us a desire to reject and confess it and to turn from it in repentance. When we listen to His Spirit and are obedient to His direction we are cleansed of sin’s stain and its grip on us. To be holy persons we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit. We are not to fight or resist His leading.
The apostle Paul, by inspiration of God, left us this path of being satisfying to the Holy Spirit. “17This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20But you have not so learned Christ, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. 26‘Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27nor give place to the devil. 28Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:17-32).
In short, God has provided the Christian with what is needed for him or her to walk respectfully of a God pleasing life, but we must work at being Holy. We are to put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness and are to put off the old man with its corruption. We must not deceive ourselves into believing that we are pleasing to God yet live according to the dictates of our natures. As God removed Israel’s testimony, He reserves the right to remove the testimony of the church, our testimony. (See Revelation 2:1-7).
Thank you, Lord for making it possible for us to live lives that glorify your name. Help us, Lord to do our part.
All Scripture usage is from the NKJB