Monday, July 13, 2015: Isaiah 15-18; Hebrews 10
10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
and set out slips of an alien god,
11 though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,
and make them blossom in the morning that you sow;
yet the harvest will flee away
in a day of grief and incurable pain.
These chapters of Isaiah include oracles against Moab (chapters 15, 16), Syria-Ephraim (chapter 17) and Ethiopia and Egypt (which extends through chapter 20). There is very little here in the way of good news – for these chapters are concerned with destruction and judgment that awaits. The above verses remind us of the source of God’s anger – the people have forgotten God. And like most sin, it always does seem pleasant, doesn’t it – there’s something to be gained, a pleasure to be enjoyed … at least for the moment. But ultimately the pleasure subsides into guilt; the profit into loss; the false god proves to be less a friend and more a demanding enemy.
It would be easy to read these chapters as irrelevant to us, as a word to nations of time gone by. But, this would be a grave error, as we too, have a tendency to forget God and chase after other, more convenient gods. May we allow the words of Isaiah to be guide words for us today – to remain focused on the worship of the one true God!
Our prayer focus for the month of July is that God would give Saint Paul's UMC a bold vision - may I invite you to pray toward this end, and be free to share with me your own reflections?