Reading Time: 5 Minutes
The most important message of Isaiah 17 is found in verses 7 and 8.
Isaiah prophesied, “On that day people will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel;
“They will not have regard for the altars, the work of their hands, and they will not look to what their own fingers have made, either the sacred poles or the altars of incense” (Isaiah 17.7-8).
We need to remember that Isaiah’s audience was very religious. The first chapter of the book outlines their religious activities.
— Isa. 1.11 – They performed sacrifices regularly.
— Isa. 1.13 – They brought offerings to their place of worship.
— Isa. 1.14 – They participated in the required festivals.
— Isa. 1.15 – Prayer was important to them.
If a church were filled with people who engaged in sacrificial giving, regular attendance, and fervent prayer, we would call it a successful church.
However, God has a different standard. What he said through Isaiah was true then as it is now.
— Isa. 1.10 – Trample my courts no more.
— Isa 1.15 – I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen.
— Isa. 1.16 – Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes.
** What’s the Problem?
What would make God condemn the religious activity of his people? Jesus pointed out a problem that can occur when we engage in religious acts.
He said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15.8).
That was what Isaiah described in verse 8. The Hebrews pursued the religious activities of God, but they also served the pagan gods of Canaan. They declared their faith in God but relied on idols.
Nominal Christianity does the same thing as did the ancient Hebrews. The claim is to follow Jesus, but the reality is a reliance upon self, a good job, a relationship, government, entertainment, or something else.
If the attempt to worship God and idols is not bad enough, we need to know that who or what we worship affects how we treat people. The first chapter of Isaiah gives a snapshot of the issue.
This was God’s message of correction to the people:
Cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1.16-17)
Please take a moment and measure your life with these words. Does what you trust in life make you better, more just, and beneficial to the vulnerable? If so, great.
If not, consider the other part of our key verse from chapter 17.
Return to Our Maker
Isaiah spoke of a day like this: “On that day people will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 17.7).
The deception that occurs with idols and false gods is the fact that humans make them. When trouble comes, we need something greater than what we have constructed and can control.
We need something greater than ourselves. Micah had it right when he said:
But as for me, I will look to the Lord,
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me. (Micah 7.7)
There will come a day when everyone will respect and revere our Maker. On that day,
Every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.10-11)
The question is, why wait for that day? Why not bend the knee today and put Jesus in the rightful place of our lives?
Today can be a day when we turn away from all substitutes for God. We can give ourselves to the One who loved us and gave himself for us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.