Total Pageviews

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Bible reading today: Isaiah 1: A Rebellious Nation (NIV)

My daily Bible reading today is Chapter 1 of Isaiah. I will be reading through the whole of the Book of Isaiah over the next few weeks, and I'll share it with you, dear reader.

The message contained in this chapter is, I believe, equally relevant for today. Society is in upheaval and has turned its collective back on the Lord God. The sins that caused God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah are prevalent in our Western Society and the situation worsens daily. All that is abhorrent to God has become a matter of daily practise for so many, yet where is the voice of the Church to be heard? The leadership of the Church seems often to have been seduced by the ruler of this world, and so they broadcast messages of appeasement rather than calls for righteous judgement and messages of despair rather than messages of hope. They condone practises that God detests and fail to promulgate His holy laws.

So what can we expect to find coming in the future? Already we have seen global disasters occurring on an almost unprecedented scale over the past three years. God is shaking the earth already. He will not be mocked! It is time for nations to repent, and that means the leaders and the people. I believe that we are in the twilight of our world and that the signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ are showing plainly enough for those with eyes to see them. Of course, many will continue to laugh, to mock and deride, but the Day of the Lord is coming closer and closer. 

The sins of Israel and Judah

 1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
 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.
 5 Why should you be beaten anymore?
   Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
   your whole heart afflicted.
6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
   there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
   and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
   or soothed with olive oil.
 7 Your country is desolate,
   your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
   right before you,
   laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
8 Daughter Zion is left
   like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
   like a city under siege.
9 Unless the LORD Almighty
   had left us some survivors,
we would have become like Sodom,
   we would have been like Gomorrah.
 10 Hear the word of the LORD,
   you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
   you people of Gomorrah!
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
   what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
   of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
   in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
   who has asked this of you,
   this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
   Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
   I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
   I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
   I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
   I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
   I am not listening.
   Your hands are full of blood!
 16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
   Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
   stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
   Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
   plead the case of the widow.
 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
   says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
   they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
   they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
   you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
   you will be devoured by the sword.”
            For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
 21 See how the faithful city
   has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
   righteousness used to dwell in her—
   but now murderers!
22 Your silver has become dross,
   your choice wine is diluted with water.
23 Your rulers are rebels,
   partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
   and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
   the widow’s case does not come before them.
 24 Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty,
   the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
   and avenge myself on my enemies.
   I will thoroughly purge away your dross
   and remove all your impurities.
26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
   your rulers as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
   the City of Righteousness,
   the Faithful City.”
 27 Zion will be delivered with justice,
   her penitent ones with righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
   and those who forsake the LORD will perish.
 29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
   in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
   that you have chosen.
30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
   like a garden without water.
31 The mighty man will become tinder
   and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
   with no one to quench the fire.”

No comments: