Isaiah 23 – 26
Have you ever wondered why relationships go bad…?
I was really challenged by God’s Word on Sunday and how easy it is to slip into the pattern of thinking about what you can get out of a relationship instead of the relationship itself!
In the time of Isaiah, Israel (and all the other nations) were defiling themselves (and the earth); they were rejecting God and his laws, his perfect laws that point to their ultimate need of Him and His grace. (See Isaiah 24:5)
Where did this lead the people?
It lead them to praise God for his righteous judgment. They had been warned that judgment would come for their failure to live with God as King but they also trusted in God’s mercy and compassion upon his people BECAUSE of his faithfulness to the promises made to Abraham. Isaiah’s words brought hope of salvation as the Sovereign God would swallow up death forever. What a promise! That God would bring about his plan that would redeem his people back into a perfect relationship with Him, all as it was meant to be in the Garden of Eden.
Personally I was challenged by the words in Isaiah 26:8 – 9, particularly in reflection from the talk on Sunday… These words cry out RELATIONSHIP. Serving God isn’t about the things we do for God, the tasks. It is about the relationship. Its not about the gift of forgiveness and eternal life on their own, its about what those things mean…
Its about God’s glory being the desire of our hearts (vs 8 – “your name and renown are the desire of our hearts”), not our own glory!
Its about our souls yearning for God first, not yearning for the approval of those around us or yearning for earthly relationship above a relationship with your Creator, your Saviour and your Lord.
Today’s reading and Sunday’s talk pointed me back to all that I have been given in Jesus – a relationship with my Heavenly Father, who is good, loving, faithful, trustworthy. All things that we struggle to be in our relationships on earth…