When God ‘’called’’ to His people they ‘’did not answer’’; when He ‘’spoke’’ they ‘’did not listen’’ (12). We know from our reading of this great prophetic book thus far that if we do not listen when God speaks to us, we cannot expect Him to listen when we try to talk to Him in prayer. He calls us to turn from our own sinful ways that are displeasing to Him (12b). Think back to Friday’s notes on chapter 64 (verses 4-7 especially).
God takes the initiative in salvation (1). But so many of the people He revealed Himself to turned away from Him to idols and disgraceful practices (2-5), for no religion can be better than its gods! So the Lord was going to bring punishment upon His sinful people (6, 7, 11 and 12).
But, thankfully, this is far from being the entire story. Amidst the prevalent unfaithfulness there was a godly remnant (8-10). There were those who genuinely did seek the Lord, and He promised His blessing to them. God would take care of them. Beyond the inevitable exile there would be a new dawn; a new beginning for God’s chosen people.
This chapter is headed ‘’Judgment and Salvation’’ in the ‘New International Version’ of the Bible. It is true that both ‘options’ are ‘on offer’ here (13-17). We can turn from our sins, to the Lord, and find blessing; or we can turn from Him to our idols and have judgment. Someone observed that ultimately all God does in judging people is to confirm the choices they have already made. So be wary of what you desire for it will surely be yours. As C.S. Lewis said, in the final analysis there are only two kinds of people in this world – ‘’those who say to God, ‘Your will be done’; and those to whom God says, ‘Your will be done.’ ‘’
Thought: What is God saying to me today? What am I doing about it? What am I going to do about it?
Prayer: Lord God, help me to approach you with a clean heart. I want to repent of all my sin so there is no blockage in the prayer channel.