The Sins of Israel And Judah

We need to take a look at “the church” of today. There are certainly many parallels with the “worshiping church” in the western world. According to surveys taken, 93 percent of the households in the United States have bibles and more than 60 percent of t … More

Judgment

Isaiah was a prophet during the time when the original nation of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms - Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The northern kingdom had already sinned greatly against God and the southern kingdom was headed in the same direction. From the human point of view, the nation was prospering but, from God’s point of view, it was rotten from within.

Isaiah starts with a probing examination of Judah’s present situation and gives a passionate plea for God’s people to return to the Lord. He says the people are like rebellious children who do not have as much devotion to God as animals do for their masters (vv. 1-4). As long as the people of Judah continued to sin, they cut themselves off from God’s help and isolated themselves (vv. 5-8). He compares the rulers and people of Judah to the rulers and people of Sodom and Gomorrah (vv. 9-11).

They are placing more faith in the rituals of their religious system than they are in God (vv. 12-14). They attend the temple services and do a multitude of sacrifices to the Lord; but their hearts are far from God, and their worship is hypocritical. God was unhappy with their sacrifices because they had come to place more faith in the rituals of their religion than in the God they worshiped. Although the people did not feel sorry for their sins, they continued to offer sacrifices (vv. 15-17). Gifts and sacrifices mean nothing to God when they come from someone with a corrupt heart.

Application

When I feel lonely and separated from God I need to remember that God does not abandon me. It is my sins that cut me off from Him. The only sure cure is to confess my sin and restore a meaningful relationship with Him.

Isaiah 1:1-17 (English Standard Version)


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