The Path to God’s Blessing

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The Book of Isaiah begins with a courtroom scene. God is the prosecuting attorney, who declares his people’s guilt.

Isaiah is also a book about a heavenly Father, who desires above all to forgive and restore his people.

The pathway to God’s blessing is to have a willingness to follow his wise guidance for our lives. Otherwise, we will experience God’s judgment.

The wisest course of action for a human is to know and follow God’s direction from the heart.

Trouble and Hope

One of the frequent readers of my blog wrote this about Isaiah, “I find the book of Isaiah both troubling and full of hope.”

I completely agree with her thoughts. The message of Isaiah is troubling if we refuse to align our lives with God’s direction and guidance. It is full of hope if we change.

This is God’s offer of forgiveness and restoration to us.

Come now, let us argue it out,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be devoured by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
(Isaiah 1.18-20)

Isaiah was different from the false prophets who served Israel’s leading citizens.

False prophets were paid by the country’s leaders. They sensed what powerful people wanted to hear and fashioned their message to agree with the desires of the people.

The common theme of the false prophets has always been, “You can continue in your rebellion and disobedience and still receive God’s blessings.”

On the other hand, Isaiah was not paid. He listened to God and declared God’s message to the people, whether they wanted to hear it or not.

Isaiah spoke in striking terms of God’s gracious forgiveness. However, he taught that God’s forgiveness can only be experienced by people who are willing to follow his guidance.

There were two clear alternatives.

(1) Continue living according to self-will in self-seeking rebellion and be destroyed.

(2) Return to God in obedience and experience his blessing.

You Can’t Have It Both Ways

A strange thing about people is that we want to have it both ways. We seek God’s blessing through religious activities, but we serve our own self-interest particularly about other people.

Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not defend the orphan,
and the widow’s cause does not come before them.
(Isaiah 1.23)

Throughout the ages, powerful people have used dishonest practices, bribery, and oppression to further their self-centered interests.

Let’s not pop up our spiritual umbrella and have Isaiah’s words fall on other people. Let’s ask God to what extent do we attempt to have a relationship with him on one hand, but serve our selfishness on the other?

We deceive ourselves if we think we can serve God and self-centered behavior at the same time.

Willing Obedience

God’s message of hope for us is fulfilled in his promise to us: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Verse 19).

How do we become “willing and obedient”?

In my late 20s and early 30s, I ran several times a week. A common saying for runners is, “The most difficult part of a run is the first step out of the door.”

On many occasions, I didn’t want to leave my warm bed to go for a run. However, once I was out the door and running I experienced the physical and mental benefits of daily exercise.

The same is true of being willing obedient to the Lord’s guidance. If we wait to “feel good” about living by God’s principles, we will end up in failure.

If we go ahead and follow God’s clear guidance in our lives, our body, mind, and inner self will know that we are living in God’s best for our lives.

Forgiven and Restored

Praise God for the truth of verse 18.

Come now, let us argue it out,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.

Our sins and rebellion are very real. The promise of God is to turn the guilt of our blatant sin into absolute forgiveness.

We can pray with Psalm 51 and be assured that God will answer this prayer.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
(Psalm 51.7 and 10)

About This Blog

Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.

Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.

If you have a prayer request, please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.

4 Comments

  1. I must find time to find your video blog with Rudy! God’s word is full of treasure as we go deeper than the surface. We can get so much more joining other “miners” who are digging along side us. Thanks again for uncovering Truth and helping us see our pitfalls.

    Liked by 1 person

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