It’s TIME to TURN to GOD & LIVE to PLEASE HIM
July 21 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 16-18
"In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands; He will not respect what his fingers have made, nor the wooden images nor the incense altars." (Isaiah 17:7-8)
The northern kingdom of Israel had allied with Syria (Damascus), and both would fall to the Assyrians (Isaiah 17). If the people we trust do not trust the Lord, we will partake in the judgment that God has prepared for them. God’s judgment on Israel is pictured by a sunset and a heavy person losing weight (v. 4), as well as a field that has no grain for the harvester and no fruit for the gleaners (vv. 5–6). Israel had decayed, and all her efforts at recovery were wasted (vv. 10–11). If only they had turned to God before the sun set or the disease wasted away the body or the blight destroyed the harvest! But they trusted their own idols and not the true God (vv. 7–8). How easy it is to put confidence in the work of our own hands and not in the God who made those hands!
However, there is still hope for Northern Israel as they will turn to the true and living God, their Maker, the Holy One of Israel, and will renounce everything that has to do with idolatry that they had followed all this time. "Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made." (Isaiah 2:8) These idols included the Canaanite goddess Asherah who was a fertility goddess symbolized by sacred groves and poles (27:9; Ex. 34:13; Deut. 16:21; Judg. 2:13). Since their idols could not deliver them, the people of Northern Israel will be prompted to turn back to God one day. Often it is only after some disaster that we realize how far we have drifted from God!
We have a choice to make today – either we follow after our self-manufactured idols (which may be anything that takes the place of God in our lives and may include our jobs, hobbies, leisure, friends, social networking, television, internet, music, etc.) or, we seek and follow after God and His kingdom (Matt. 6:33). The Bible is clear that we cannot serve two masters – we will hate one and love the other or else we will be loyal to one and despise the other (Matt. 6:24). Whether we like it or not – if we do not bow to Jesus Christ today, we will bow to Him one day. Turn to Jesus today – look to Him and live to please Him in our lives – otherwise a day is coming when we will bow before Him and acknowledge that He is Lord over all…!!!