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THOUGHTS FROM ISAIAH

THE RELEVANCE OF ISAIAH’S MESSAGE

Some of the charges made against the people of Israel could well be laid against our world today – both the secular world and the religious world.

For many today the glorious gospel of Christ has been replaced by legalistic religion:

‘For it is:
Do and do, do and do,
rule on rule, rule on rule…’ [Isaiah 28:10].

‘Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men’ [Isaiah 29:13].

There is for these no knowledge or understanding of the amazing grace of God by which we are saved through the substitutionary death of his Son, Jesus Christ. There is no real knowledge of the forgiveness and full acquittal granted to those who believe in Jesus Christ. There is no understanding that Jesus Christ has taken the full measure of the judgment due to us. There is no peace with God. Their religion generates fear and guilt, not deep peace and joy.

Many others are arrogant in their atheism and naturalism, deliberately choosing to believe that there is no God and no life after death, that death is the end:

‘We have entered a covenant with death,
with the grave we have entered an agreement’ [Isaiah 28:15].

These and others hide behind the lies they have told themselves, rather believing the lie than believing that there actually is a God to whom they are accountable:

‘… for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place’ [Isaiah 28:15].

They have willingly accepted long-age uniformitarianism and the evolutionary hypothesis even though neither has been scientifically proved, because these theories intentionally remove God and all human accountability to God.

They would rather have their man-made religion or their deceptive lies than the word of the living God:

‘They say to the seers,
“See no more visions!”
and to the prophets,
“Give us no more visions of what is right!
Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.
Leave this way, get off this path,
and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”’ [Isaiah 30:10,11].

They do not want to be reminded of God. Their present ignorance is bliss to them and they do not want their ‘peace’ disturbed.

But their ignorance and their peace is the quietness and stillness of the graveyard. They think that they have life, and they are living it to the full, but they have been deceived. They have been seduced by the great deceiver, the father of lies. What they think is wisdom is actually folly. As King Solomon wrote, personifying folly as a seductive woman:

‘… little to they know that death is there,
that her guests are in the depths of the grave’ [Proverbs 9:18].

Whereas, Jesus Christ, speaking as Wisdom personified, says:

‘For whoever finds me finds life and receives favour from the LORD.
But he who fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death’ [Proverbs 8:35,36].

There is both a warning and a challenge in all of this: A warning to all who have been deceived by graceless religion or godless theories: don’t listen to the father of lies, the original deceiver, listen rather to the God who created you and loves you so much that he sent his Son to rescue you. And a challenge to all who know God and his grace: let your lives shine forth the light of God’s truth and God’s grace into the world dispersing the darkness, opening the door of life to those who are dead, helping them to seek God and live.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2014