We Can’t Defy God’s Laws

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

I clearly remember the day in my late teens when I jumped from a perch of about 15 feet. I suffered no harm but was determined to never do it again.

I have never dared to jump out of a second-story window or off of the roof of a tall building.

Like you, I choose to not defy the law of gravity.

However, the law of gravity is not the only law we must observe. God’s moral laws are as real as the law of gravity.

Blessings and God’s Laws

As the people of God were on the brink of entering the Promised Land, Moses divided the people into two camps. One group stood on Mount Gerizim and the other on Mount Ebal.

The priests and Levites recited God’s common sense directions for people.

If people chose to disregard God’s direction, a curse would result. It was like jumping off of a building in defiance of the law of gravity.

People who followed God’s guidance heard the word of blessing. They were blessed because they lived according to the religious and moral laws of God.

The opening words of God’s blessings were: “If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today,

“The Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28.1-2).

You Brought It On Yourself

I have never attempted to defy the law of gravity since that 15-foot jump of my youth. If I had tried it again and ended up with broken bones, Isaiah’s words would have readily applied to me.

Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
(Isaiah 3.9)

The same prophetic words are true for people who defy God’s moral laws.

One of my friends whose methamphetamine addiction devastated his life said, “I thought I was going to a party, but I ended up in hell.”

He realized that he was his own worst enemy when he defied God’s moral law with self-serving behavior.

Like God’s people on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, Isaiah placed the issue of blessing and curse before the people.

10 Tell the innocent how fortunate they are,
for they shall eat the fruit of their labors.

11 Woe to the guilty! How unfortunate they are,
for what their hands have done shall be done to them.
(Isaiah 3.10-11)

The “innocent” are those who know and do the will of God. They adhere to God’s laws that were given for our good.

The “guilty” are those who believe that God’s law is a burden. They reject it and are broken, just as is someone who disregards the law of gravity.

Examples of Law Defying Behavior

Like a skilled prosecutor in a courtroom, Isaiah outlined the behavior of the “guilty.”

12 O my people, your leaders mislead you,
and confuse the course of your paths.
(Isaiah 3.12)

In the earlier verses of this chapter (Isaiah 3.1-8), God declared that he had replaced competent leaders with those who acted like children.

Bad leaders were a punishment to a nation that refused to follow God’s direction.

Even though bad leadership was part of God’s discipline, it did not excuse the behavior of those who were charged to care for the people. They were held responsible for what they did.

13 The Lord rises to argue his case;
he stands to judge the peoples.

14 The Lord enters into judgment
with the elders and princes of his people:
It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

15 What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts.
(Isaiah 3.13-15)

In yesterday’s article, “Remedial Judgment for the Nation,” I suggested that we need to move from the language of complaint to the language of commitment.

It is easy for the powerful to complain about the poor. Complaints such as, “Get a job!” “They are nothing but welfare queens.” “Those lousy immigrants.”

The laws of God direct elders (clergy), princes (politicians), and business leaders to be committed to the well-being of the poor. Complaints by the powerful can be used to shift the blame on how they abuse the poor for profit.

When trouble comes to churches, nations, and companies, we do well to remember the words of Isaiah. We can’t defy God’s moral laws.

Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
(Isaiah 3.9)

Isaiah’s Two Audiences

Isaiah had two audiences for his message. The powerful landowners, clergy, and governmental leaders were his primary audience.

Business as we know it did not exist in the ancient world. Wealth was measured by land and agricultural accomplishments.

What I call “governmental leaders” was the king and his court.

The clergy included priests and Levites. They had a religious function but were also involved to a considerable degree in the decision-making for the nation.

As you can expect, these leaders were not open to Isaiah’s message. They had a selfish personal interest in maintaining the status quo.

The second target audience for Isaiah’s message was the common man and woman. If the elites resisted God’s guidance, possibly the average person would respond.

If Isaiah’s message caused enough people to repent, it was hoped that God would respond and save the nation from destruction.

A major reason to read Isaiah is to hear his message and align our lives with God’s attitudes and actions. It will be good for us and may have an impact far beyond our personal life.

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 a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful 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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