What have we become!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

 

Isaiah 63:11-64:1

 

 

 Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit, 

who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name,

 who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.

 Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.

Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me.

For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

Your holy people held possession for a little while; our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.

We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name.

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—

 

Begin at

“…Adonai, why do you let us…” Complete Jewish Bible translation.

Other translations say

 “…O LORD, why do you make us wander…”

When researching the ‘let’ and the ‘make’ it will be noted that what is found is a translation of ‘wander’ and ‘hardening’. The rest of that statement is,

“…so that we fear you not?…”

There is an apparent growing lack of fear of God and the result of that is a wandering and a hardening in our church families. Note that this could easily have been written recently of many of our churches today, yet it was written by Isaiah of ancient times.

“…We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name….”

Mankind has not changed its ways even though it has the Word of God. Perhaps because there is a lack of genuine search for truth from the Scripture? Where is the fear of the Lord? We present a soft God, loving, caring, and forgiving; which He is through His mercy and the gift of redemption by way of Jesus Christ, but…also a God of wrath for those who carry His name but do not walk in His Word. This is often presented as the wrath of God directed at the non believer. Read Isaiah, read Ezekiel and others. Read the words of Jesus;

 

“…Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people….” -Jesus  Luke 21:23
[Jhn 3:36 ESV] 36 “…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him….”

this wrath is directed at the people who carry His name! This side of God is ignored at our peril for it leads to arrogance and the attempt to replace God with one of our own! For that He has always passed judgment. Beware! He did not spare the Israelites; he will not spare us today if we find this to be true in our assemblies. This does not negate salvation and eternity; it has an effect upon the quality of our life here. Many lack the abundant life; is it possible that this could be one cause? Let us not give up the search for the truth; let us not be satisfied with only what we have received in our one hour sessions one day a week. There is a hunger in the land for truth, for the Word of God rightly given. It is time to get on our knees and pray for our leadership; there is rampant arrogance from the top and God states

 [Hos 4:6 ESV] 6 “…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children….”

That spoke to the leadership; it came from the top down… Praying for our leaders in all places, government, church, family, work is needed. There is a dearth of prayer for it is evident in the lack of God-oriented, Bible-oriented, value-oriented leadership. Pray!

“…Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—…”

“…For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name….”

It is encouraging that this is being noted at the top of some of our churches:

“…I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable…” David Platt, pastor of Church at Brook Hills, from “Radical”

“…As I reread the Gospel passages, Jesus’ words are much harsher than I remember. There’s a tone in some of the things that he said that are really difficult to stomach, and he says things in a way that I would not have.

Because we in America read certain passages over and over to the neglect of others, we start to believe that Jesus had a friendly tone all the time. And that there isn’t any wrath or anger or judgment. When you read it all like you are reading it for the first time, you walk away going, “Wow, he was pretty hardcore.”

Here’s what I had to repent of: I had felt the need to soften a lot of Jesus’ statements, because in my arrogance I think, “Okay Jesus, I’m not going to say that like that. Trust me, people will like you more and be more willing to accept you if I say it like this.” Obviously I’ve never said that to God. But that’s the attitude I’ve taken, and it made me sick. Who in the heck do I think I am? To think that I can make God more palatable or attractive if I try and change the tone in which he says some things. I know people say, “Well it’s just cultural this or that.” That’s garbage. People back then had a much deeper reverence for God than we do. Especially the religious community. Yet it’s to those people whom he speaks so harshly.

What in the world would he say to us today? I don’t think it’d be a softer message. I had to come before God and say, “Lord I feel sick.” And I confessed to Mark [Beuving, who edited the book] and Preston [Sprinkle, the coauthor] as we were working on the book, “I confess to you guys, I confess to the church, I know I have backed away from certain things because of my arrogance. I thought I could attract more people to Jesus by hiding certain things about him.” I had to confess my arrogance….” Francis Chan, whose books Crazy Love and Forgotten God are still on bestseller lists, is a somewhat surprising addition to the pack with Erasing Hell. (Chan’s coauthor, Preston Sprinkle, is associate professor of biblical studies at Chan’s Eternity Bible College.) Christianity Today senior managing editor Mark Galli is the author of another of the response books, God Wins, and interviewed Chan, July 5, 2011

There are others who could confess the same…let us pray for our leadership that they stay true to the truth of the Word; that they begin a similar journey as these two have and we will see revival sweep this land.  Our churches are esteemed ineffective when we see that the laws of the land are created contrary to God’s Word and when a town of 40,000 has 4,000 attending church.  Pray!

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