Evil and Oppression
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness. (Isaiah 59:1)
As I read through the end of Isaiah Wednesday, I was again amazed by the statements made by Isaiah in chapters 55-59, and how Isaiah 59 is the ultimate condemnation of Israel for their sin. I am reminded yet again (from reading the Old Testament prophets, how God feels about sin, and how even GOD’S PEOPLE are so much like the world, rather than like their Lord. It is sad that God’s people are more like the world than the Lord who bought them.
Note the things he says about God’s people of that day . . .
“The way of peace is not known, and there is no justice in their paths (59:8)
“Justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us. We hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.” (59:9).
“We hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. (59:11) Please continue reading through Isaiah 59:14-19.
In the midst of condemnation, Isaiah then talks about how God will treat his people in chapters 60-62, and show grace to them despite their sins. We find God wanting to save his people, and desiring his people to repent and come to Him. God wants his people to love him as He loves them (always has, and always will).
The sin and degradation of the people of God in the Old Testament shocks us, but before we judge them to harshly, do we not find the same things in our culture today? God is forgotten. His word is not read. If his word is read, often we do not live up to what the Father wants. God does n0t want us to sin because he knows what sin will do to us, our families, our government and our culture. Man will degrade to the level of animals, and then begin to treat others human beings, made in the image of God, as animals. The sexual immorality that is being promulgated today is not God’s will – it is sin, disguised with the word “love.” (translate lust, and desires that make me happy).
In Isaiah 60-62 we see God’s mercy for his people. Note these passages (read through Isaiah 61-62) . . .
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise in- stead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”
As we close on lessons from Isaiah, God reminds Isaiah that he will come again in judgment. Note these words in Isaiah 66:15-16, “For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.”
What lessons do you glean from the prophets?