Prayer Focus: Indonesia

Bible Reading: Isaiah 1-4

Scripture

2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.

3 The ox knows its master,
the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”

4 Woe to the sinful nation,
a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him. (Isaiah 1:2-4)

Observation

Israel split into two nations that was at times antagonistic and other times in alliance with one another.  When Isaiah, a prophet to the tribe of Judah, enters the scene the two nations were jockeying for power from each other. God spoke through Isaiah and warned Ahaz not to make deals with outside nations.  Warnings he would ultimately ignore.  The opening verses here in Isaiah set up the premise, and the following 39 chapters deal with the Judgment of Judah, the nations, and the world.

Israel had forsaken God.  His great love wouldn’t allow them to degenerate past what he could redeem.  So he would take action; action through the subjugation of his children by another nation, this time Babylon instead of Egypt.  They would go into an exile that would cause them to cry out to God once more as a people.  The result was repentance and unification of this fractured people, and in the time of Nehemiah, they would trickle back to build their home again. 

But I am getting ahead of myself.  Right now in our reading, we are at the beginning.   

Application

I can’t help but see the warning here in these opening verses!  I hear the heart of God breaking over his children’s sin and his frustration that they are walking away from him.  God had made a promise to Abraham that he would remain faithful to his people, even if they were unfaithful.  We recently read in Hosea how he felt about the direction they were going, how personally he took heir national rejection of him. 

Every day that we go our own way, we grieve the Holy Spirit, and there is a reckoning.  The verses we are looking at today addressed a nation, not an individual.  However, we must take the warning of judgment Isaiah delivered personally, for people are the building blocks of a nation.  It’s a warning that is as vital for us to recognize today, as it was for the people of Isaiah’s time. 

Prayer

Lord, I pray that we as a nation hear you, obey you and return to you.  The bible says “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins, and I will heal their land.”  (2 Chron. 7:14)  America needs your restoration.  I don’t have it in me to ask for exile and slavery, like what befell Israel twice.  But if that is what it takes to save us from ourselves, then I pray you do what you must to keep our nation from being completely given over to our sin.  Amen.

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