Monday, October 11, 2010
Today’s Topic: Defending Our Positions
Today’s Text: Isaiah 22:13 But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!”
I try to avoid it. I intentionally stay away from it. I have found other things to meet my need for information without turning to it. I’m talking about the national media. I made the mistake of watching a little of it this morning and now I regret it. It made me angry because there is no honor any more, and there certainly is no moral compass.
Day after day we are bombarded with news that is intentionally slanted to promote man’s agenda over God’s authority. Then on top of it our intelligence is attacked by the preposterous political ads that dominate the airwaves. I am once again so very thankful that God is in control no matter how much man thinks he is and attempts to prove he’s worthy to be. Praise be to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you with great joy and without fault before His glorious presence – to the only God our Savior be glory and majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! AMEN! (Jude 24-25)
As I read through the book of Isaiah, I can almost begin to feel about it the way I do about the media. Here we are in the twenty-second chapter already and the news is still gloom and doom: chapter after chapter of man’s rebellion against God and His coming judgment of their sin. But with careful reading there are great truths to be discovered that can help us in our daily lives. Let me share one with you from today’s passage.
This chapter is a prophecy about the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians. It would take place in 586 B.C., some 125 years after Isaiah wrote it. I want you to notice these points about what is written:
- Isaiah is heartbroken over the sin of the people and the knowledge that God has every right and intention to discipline them. In verse four he writes, Therefore I said, “Turn away from me; let me weep bitterly. Do not try to console me over the destruction of my people.” My first response to the tragedy of sin in people’s lives must be one of grief rather than anger. Anger in this case is prideful, plain and simple. When we respond with anger at another person’s sin we are essentially judging them to our own prideful advantage. Think about that carefully. There is a place for anger against sin, but not until we have sufficiently wept over their Christ-less condition that has caused it.
- The people who are sinning are doing everything they can to defend their situation so they can continue in it. Here’s how the siege of Jerusalem is described:
- The Babylonians have surrounded them.
- Their choicest valleys are filled with chariots of the enemy.
- The cavalry is at the gates of the city.
- The defenses of the city have been destroyed.
- There are breaches in the walls.
The response of the people is interesting. They are destroying anything and everything they had built in the city to reinforce the walls. They are doing everything they can to protect the lifestyle they love. But that is not the response God wanted from them. He did not ask them to defend the city – it was futile for them to attempt it because He had brought it upon them as a consequence of their sin. There was only one way they could avoid the punishment – repentance. God’s message to them was clear. The Lord, the LORD Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth. But they only wanted to protect the little world they had built for their own enjoyment. I see that played out every day in the media and in the lives of people all around me. They do everything they can to defend their positions so they can enjoy their lifestyles. Now they have turned to attacking anyone who speaks out against what they are doing. We truly are living in the last days when the messengers of truth from Jesus Christ will be persecuted as people defend their ungodly positions.
- But the people do not repent. Instead they plan one final party to satisfy the desires of their flesh. But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!” They had a chance to turn from their wicked ways and surrender to God in brokenness and humility. Instead they chose to pursue their passions one last time. When they do, they seal their fate. God says, “Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for.” How sad. There is a point in man’s rejection of God when God declares them to be eternally rejected by Him. They have refused to surrender to the call of the Holy Spirit for forgiveness, and for this they cannot be forgiven.
My friends, this is the culture in which we live today. But beware lest you think it is only “them” who are doing it. Let’s all check our lives as well and make sure we are not defending any positions in our lives that are not of God. Let us be holy and blameless before Him at His appearing, which I believe is coming soon.