Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hearing but not Heeding

Today's passage:  Isaiah 47
At last, judgement comes upon Babylon.  At least, Isaiah warns of the impending judgement.  God used Babylon as a tool to bring Israel back to Him, but they will still be judged as a nation, because they never acknowledged the true God.  In the many years that the Israelites were in captivity there, the Babylonians failed to notice the God they were still serving.  Granted, I'm sure there were Israelites who chose the Babylonian way of worship, but Daniel and others chose to live for Jehovah God.  Nebuchadnezzar at one point recognizes their Lord, but children and grandchildren departed from his Jehovah worship (probably thinking he was still insane from his days in the wilderness.)  So now God tells them of the judgement that will come.  Shouldn't this cause them to repent and recognize Him?  It hasn't happened yet, Isaiah is warning them.  It seems to me, that God always gives us fair warning.  Isn't there something that God points out to us, maybe in a message, maybe from reading His Word, maybe while we are taking action, and the Holy Spirit points out to us, "Hey, you need to fix that."  How many times have those without Christ heard a Gospel message and the Holy Spirit convicts them, saying "You need to listen to this.  You need to come to Christ."  Too often, we hear the warning but do not heed the warning.  Still God is merciful to us time after tired time.  God tells Babylon ahead of time what will happen, what will take place, but they do not listen.  Many times in the Bible, God gives plenty of warning about something that will take place.  Why?  Because He wants to spare us the judgement by allowing us to repent and make it right first.
Jonah under the vine--Taken from Treasures of the Bible (Divided Kingdom)
By Henry Davenport Northrop, D.D.
International Publishing Company, 1894
Think about Jonah and the Assyrians.  Jonah went to warn them, and the people repented (to Jonah's dismay).  Because of this, God staved off His judgement.  There are some obvious consequences to our behavior which God points out to us.  Anger issues lead to fighting and possibly murder.  Substance abuse leads to disease, theft, driving accidents.  Adultery leads to broken families.  Bitterness leads to anxiety attacks and other health issues.  God shows us these things ahead of time. If we repent and ask for His help, He can take these things away.  But it takes acknowledging Him first.  That is what Babylon refused to do.  Do I?

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