God’s Promise and Human Rejection

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

God doesn’t go halfway when he makes a promise to people who follow his guidance. Consider God’s words to people who follow him.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways.

“The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you.

“The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.

“The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom — if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them” (Deuteronomy 28:9, 11-13).

Isaiah knew the promises of God. I imagine him calling to God’s people with these words, exhorting them to align their lives with God’s direction.

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
(Isaiah 2.5)

The Promise and The Refusal

In the face of the many promises of God, his people filed for divorce against him.

Isaiah declared,

For you have forsaken the ways of your people,
O house of Jacob.
Indeed they are full of diviners from the east
and of soothsayers like the Philistines,
and they clasp hands with foreigners.
(Isaiah 2.6)

The word, “forsake,” refers to divorce proceedings. Why do God’s people seek to be free from their relationship with him?

Isaiah answers with these words:

Their land is filled with silver and gold,
and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
and there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
(Isaiah 2.7-8)

If you translate verse 7 into 2021 language, the nation has a good economy and a powerful national defense. If you can provide for your needs and safety, you may begin to think that you don’t need God.

Verse 8 describes self-sufficiency, taking great pride in our accomplishments.

The result of this behavior is that people divorce God in preference for an idol. Over the generations, the idol is a commitment and devotion to self-will, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.

Diviners and Soothsayers Instead of God

Today, people use artificial intelligence, mathematical models, and other tools to predict the direction of the stock market. Nations use sophisticated satellite technology and cyber activity to determine the movement of hostile nations.

In 700 B.C. nations used diviners and soothsayers to predict the outcome of crops, fertility, and battles (Verse 6). Besides, alliances with foreign nations were used to buttress their national security.

Both then and now, the underlying issue is a separation from God and a reliance on human ability. Rather than trusting life to God by following his directions, the attempt is to secure the future with tools that don’t need God.

Unbelief in Action

Isaiah’s audience was very religious. They faithfully observed the forms of religion like a nation that worships God does.

Yet, they demonstrated their unbelief by relying on substitutes for God (soothsayers, diviners, up-to-date weapons, and alliances with other countries).

Faith answers the question, “Upon whom do you rely upon for your needs and security?”

I am grateful for technology, our economy, and America’s national defense.

However, the coronavirus and a massive shipping container that is stuck in the Suez Canal remind us of our vulnerability. The virus has brought death to the nations in the face of the most sophisticated defense systems.

A massive ocean-going vessel was no match for the wind.

Both of these events and many more remind us that Isaiah’s words should be taken seriously.

Today’s study began with Isaiah pleading with his people. He said,

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
(Isaiah 2.5)

The chapter ends with a very similar admonition for everyone willing to hear the message.

Turn away from mortals,
who have only breath in their nostrils,
for of what account are they?
(Isaiah 2.22)

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.

I am indebted to Dr. John Oswalt and his commentary on Isaiah for great insights into the message of this amazing book.

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.

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