Ready – Whether You Are Or Not

Have you ever done something, and had it rejected?  A gesture?  A sacrificial offer?  A word of encouragement?  Useful advice?

Isaiah 65:1-9

65 I, the Lord, was ready
answer even those
    who were not asking
and to be found by those
    who were not searching.
To a nation that refused
to worship me,
    I said, “Here I am!”

All day long I have reached out
to stubborn and sinful people
    going their own way.
They keep making me angry
    by sneering at me,
while offering sacrifices
    to idols in gardens
and burning incense
    to them on bricks.
They spend their nights
    hiding in burial caves;
they eat the meat of pigs,
cooked in sauces
    made of stuff unfit to eat.
And then they say to others,
“Don’t come near us!
    We’re dedicated to God.”
Such people are like smoke,
    irritating my nose all day.
I have written this down;
    I won’t keep silent.
I’ll pay them back
    just as their sins deserve.
I, the Lord, will make them pay
for their sins
and for those
    of their ancestors—
they have disgraced me
by burning incense
    on mountains.

Here is what the Lord says:
    A cluster of grapes
    that produces wine
    is worth keeping!
So, because of my servants,
    I won’t destroy everyone.
I have chosen the people
    of Israel and Judah,
and I will bless them
    with many descendants.
They will settle here
in this land of mountains,
    and it will be theirs.

God is ready and waiting – whether we are looking or not.

He has reached out – and has been rejected.  Not only rejected, but then having to watch those he considered his own people actively turning the other way, to false idols.

And yet, and yet, the still claim to be “dedicated to God”.

Unsurprisingly God is frustrated and angry.  He has offered love, and they have given nothing but disgrace.  He has to do something to turn this around.  And he has chosen a people through whom to do it.  Sadly, we know where it went from there, and that even they turned from him…

But as we read the beginning of these verses, how do they make you feel?

Uncomfortable?  Guilty as charged?

Have I refused the arm God has reached out to me?  Have I preferred to do things my way?  Follow my own idols?  And yet still claimed I am dedicated to God?

In honesty I know that I have.  Yet God is still willing to reach out, to work with me and through me.

What an awesome God!  Will we reach out to him?

Lord,
I thank you that you are faithful
and continue to reach out to me.
In the times I go the other way,
turn to idols,
reject your ways,
yet still claim I am yours.

Lord,
I come,
knowing that is me,
knowing I deserve to be left behind,
but grateful
that you still choose to love us,
still reach out to us,
and wait
for me to reach out to you.

I come
in my guilt and shame
and thank you
that you are a faithful God

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4 thoughts on “Ready – Whether You Are Or Not

  1. Guilty as charged… so guilty as charged! and yes, Christ offers us forgiveness and resurrection life but there is a price to pay, a condition attached. Resurrection lies the other side of death. Ultimately His death on the cross, but for us also, the death of self-will. And sometimes the process of dying to self can feel as if we too are being crucified, especially if we fight and resist the process. Our God is awesome in His love and forgivenss for us – but He is also uncompromisingly holy. We can only dwell in Him and His love to the extent that we allow Him to work in us to purge us from all that is not holy, all that is not true. We can’t do this for ourselves – but His love for us is so immense that He will do it for us if we allow Him. Your Kingdome come, Your will be done – not mine but yours…

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