Isaiah

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Isaiah – 20 February 2007

One of my favorite Books of the Bible is that of the Prophet Isaiah, who lived approximately 2,700 years ago.

Isaiah’s opening prophecy in the book that bears his name is –

2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;
For the LORD speaks,
"Sons I have reared and brought up,
But they have revolted against Me.

3 "An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master's manger,
But Israel does not know,
My people do not understand."
~ New American Standard Bible

Reading this passage, do you sense the frustration that the Lord feels?

In Isaiah 1:11-12 he continues prophesying for the Lord:

11 "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?"
Says the LORD.
"I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams,
And the fat of fed cattle.
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats.

12 "When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?”
~ New American Standard Bible

I can’t help but think of the world today, with billions of animals horrifically slaughtered or cruelly confined in ways that one could say makes slaughter preferable, for example: the plight of dairy cows, veal calves, egg-producing chickens….

In Isaiah 1:15 the hypocrisy of empty ritualized prayer is brought out:

15 "So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you,
Yes, even though you multiply prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.”
~ New American Standard Bible

In 1:16 the people are told what God wants them to do:

16 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil….”
~ New American Standard Bible

In 1:18-20 the Lord gives the people a choice. After saying “Come now, and let us reason together…” He offers the people forgiveness – if they will listen and change their ways. Then He says, “But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”

If Isaiah had “tickled the people’s ears” with what they wanted to hear, he would have been praised and honored, as false prophets are. Isaiah’s earthly reward for telling the truth? He was put in a hollow log and sawed in half.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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