“The ox knoweth his owner, And the ass his master’s crib: ButIsaiah 1:3
Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider.“
How sad it is when children turn against their parents, despite their generosity and care! That is the analogy that God uses in the opening of the book of Isaiah. He, like a good father, had nourished and brought up Israel, calling out Abraham, delivering Israel from Egypt, and establishing them in the land. Yet, they rebelled against the Lord.
They were more stupid than an ox or a stubborn donkey (v.3). At least dumb animals will acknowledge their master and their provider, but Israel did not. Instead, they were full of sins of idolatry, injustice, and corruption. As a result, they were surrounded by many enemies who were continually attacking them (v.5-8), and things were only going to get worse. No amount of religious ceremony and sacrifice could replace true repentance that results in admitting their sin and turning from their sin (v.10-20).
Sadly, the once faithful people of God, who were like a beautiful faithful wife, were now ‘an harlot! (v.21-23). So, God told them that judgment was coming, that He would deal with their sin and bring them back to a place of purity and faithfulness to Him (v.24-27)
Here are some questions for us to consider from Isaiah 1:
- Do we appreciate what God has done for us, in giving His son Jesus to save us and rescue us? Are we grateful for how He cares for us and nourishes us each day, or do we complain and rebel against Him?
- Can we understand that all sin is taken very personal by God? The language God uses with Israel is one of personal betrayal and hurt. When we sin, we hurt the God who loves us and cares for us. Understanding this should help us to see the seriousness of sin and to rid ourselves of sin.
- How often do we go through the motions of religion without any real repentances? Are we just playing games when we gather to worship God or does our worship reflect our heart?
- How amazing is it that despite our sin, God will purge and cleans the dark stains of sin by His grace. All He asks is that we truly repent and turn to Him. If we do, then He will wash us white as snow. This is made possible by the blood of Jesus that cleanses away all sin (1 John 1:7).