But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; And you have been weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings, Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings, Nor wearied you with incense. You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, Nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices; But you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities. Isaiah 43:22-24
The context of Isaiah 43 talks about the relationship between God and Israel. Think about the history of his people and God;
God had promised Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-2). God had also blessed Abraham’s descendants, and protected them during a time of famine by sending them to Egypt.
After a four hundred thirty-year wait, God decided to redeem his people, and delivered them through the agency of Moses. (God is not on the same timetable we are – one day with him is as one thousand years, and one thousand years as one day – 2 Peter 3:8-9). After forty years wandering in the wilderness (again due to their lack of faith and sin – Numbers 13-14) he gives them the land of Canaan. They conquer the land (again, with problems due to lack of faith and obedience – Joshua 6); and live in a time of Judges in which their lives were marked with sin, rejection of God, bondage and deliverance. Finally, they ask for a king (instead of accepting that God was their king – 1 Samuel 8, 12) and their kings were either blessings (by obedience to God and setting the example) or leaders of sin, wickedness and a turning away from God to idols. What a sad, sordid history.
In the midst of this Isaiah speaks God’s words to the people and shows that they have always been a people who rejected God. In Isaiah 43 God reminds them that God created them (43:1) and redeemed them (43:1). He honored them (43:4); loved them (43:4) and brought back those who have been exiled because of their sins (43:5-6). He called Israel by his name (43:7) for his glory, and again emphasizes that he created them (43:7). And God reminds them that he is the ONLY GOD (43:10) and emphasizes that there is no Savior besides him (43:11). And he stresses again that he will bring his people back to him, blessings them with peace, drink and all his people need (43:14-21).
Sometimes God has to remind his people how he is there for them, how he has blessed them, created them, honored them and loved them. And one would think that his people would always respond in kind – yet . . .
God shares in Isaiah 43:22-24 the response of his people to him. They did not call upon God – indeed they were weary of God. They did not honor God with their sacrifices; they instead, burdened God with their sins, and wearied God with their iniquities. The one who blotted out their transgressions and refused to remember their sins did so for his own name’s sake. And punishment was sure to come.
These words echo through the centuries to God’s people today.
Do we only call to God when things are bad and “out of control” or do we call upon him realizing that he is our creator, redeemer and our only Savior?
Have we become weary of God – of doing his will and serving him?
Have we BURDENED God with our sins and wearied him with our iniquities?
When we consider what God has done for us – our health, food, jobs, shelter, blessings above which most of the world knows nothing – have we wearied God?
Thank God he is willing to forgive, and still claim us as his children because of what Jesus did. Let us be thankful, earnest in our faithfulness to him!
Don’t be weary with God – always consider his blessings. Tommy