Verse of the Day Devotion. Isaiah 2:6 For Thou hast abandoned Thy people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.
In the verse just before our focus verse, the prophet urged God’s people to walk in the light; in the way God has called them to live. “Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Isaiah 2:5. He told them of the ‘last days’ and encouraged them to remember it and what this meant because they did not know when that time would come. Unfortunately, Israel was not obeying God, which was why he was pleading with them to ‘walk in the light’.
The first word in our focus verse is ‘For’, which tells us why they are going through difficulties and why he encouraged them to walk in the light, because they currently were not. And next he tells them what they were doing wrong. “For Thou, hast abandoned Thy people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. Their land has also been filled with silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land has also been filled with horses, And there is no end to their chariots. Their land has also been filled with idols; They worship the work of their hands, That which their fingers have made.” Isaiah 2:6b-8. They had become so comfortable they took on the ways of people around them rather than the ways of God.
Judah had allowed the false gods of foreigners to capture their attention. This was not an anti-immigrant statement. God is not against the cultures and customs of other peoples, except where those customs and cultures honor and worship false gods. Perhaps in the name of ‘diversity,’ the leaders and people of Judah were allowing the worship of false gods. Judah had allowed the false gods of wealth and materialism to captivate their attention. Because Judah was in a time of economic prosperity they were far more prone to economic idolatry. There was plenty of worship in Judah, and plenty of people humbling themselves. They were simply worshipping the wrong things and humbling themselves before the wrong things!
Just when Isaiah had his audience remembering all the good things God would do at the end of time (See Isaiah 2:2–5), he surprised them in this new paragraph with the terrible news that God would humble them. No doubt his audience listened approvingly to the great things to come at the end of time, thinking that they would be in Zion enjoying God’s presence when the nations finally would submit to his rule. But God had a different plan for Isaiah’s audience because the “house of Jacob” was not walking in God’s ways, hence His plea to walk in the light.
What Isaiah was telling his audience was God withdrew His protection and had given them over to the calamities and judgements which had come upon them. God had abandoned them in the sense of not paying any attention to them or leaving them alone to depend on their own resources. This implies a removal of God’s direction and protection because of their sinfulness. God said as recorded in 2 Kings. “And I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become as plunder and spoil to all their enemies; because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger, since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day.” 2 Kings 21:14-15.
And I hate to say this, but we are seeing much of this happening today. Many times, things become more important than worshipping and honoring God. And going to Church becomes more important than what is done in the Church. Having the title of ‘Christian’ without actually being one is becoming a norm, just as being an Israelite was more important than doing all things that God has commanded. As long as they were of the house of Jacob, God would take care of them. And today, many believe that as long as they take the title of Christian, God will be OK with that.
The core teaching of every false religion is the same: you must obey certain commands to be made right with God. Some emphasize Old Testament commands; some emphasize New Testament commands; some emphasize church commands; some emphasize the humanitarian principles of kindness and general morality. Regardless of the specifics, obedience to be right with God is a false gospel. It is not through obedience but by grace through faith that we are saved. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10. And in true faith, we have a real and pleasing relationship with God.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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