God’s hand of judgment and anger is still outstretched against Israel. Her arrogance and oppression are what God is judging right now. And He uses the other nations to do it.
Four times Isaiah tells us that; “For all this His anger has not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still” (verses 12b, 17b, 21b, & 4b). These are four different offenses He has against Israel. All have the distinction of arrogance and oppression at their center. Judgment is coming SOON.
The first charge against Israel is definitely arrogance. “What does it matter if the supports of our homes are knocked over. We will simply rebuild with bigger and better material.” No where in their hearts is the question of ‘why’ or ‘by Whom’ were they knocked down. They are not listening to the correction God is sending to them. They believe they can rise above any problem ON THEIR OWN. “We don’t need God. We can handle this ourselves. For who can compare to us when we set out minds to do something?” But GOD has set enemies all around to bring them low for their arrogance. And they will KEEP coming until Israel is laid low.
The second charge God levels against them is the arrogance of their leaders. Not even those who should KNOW to inquire of the Lord, in the face of what is going on, refuse to do so. The leaders, the elders, and even the prophets and priests refuse to turn to Him. They find some other reason to explain God’s hand of judgment. And believe they can rise above it without any repentance. God is going to remove them from their places of influence. Israel will be left without leaders. Everyone who follows these arrogant leaders is also corrupt and godless. ALL of them will reap their reward, even the widow and the fatherless!
The third offense is selfishness and disregard for one’s own ‘brother’. Everyone is out for himself, no matter what it does to those around him. He is never satisfied with what he has and will seek what they want, no matter what it costs SOMEONE ELSE. The only time they band together is when it suits their purposes against an even bigger opponent. I wonder how quickly the ‘alliances’ end when it’s time to ‘divide the spoil’. God won’t let them divide the spoil. He says He will burn them up like fuel for the fire. None will be spared!
The final charge, for today, deals with the oppression of the weakest members of society. The widow, the poor, and the fatherless are on the bottom rung of society. They have no one to look out for them. God made provisions in the Law but they are being ignored. Worse than that, what should have gone to the poor, widow or fatherless is now being taken by the higher rungs in society. “There’s not enough for everyone so I’m taking what I can get and to ____ with the other guy.” “Let the weak die off and decrease the surplus population.” God’s Law is CLEAR on this point. There is a portion that belongs to those without other means. God sees how we treat the most vulnerable in society. And it MATTERS to Him! “If you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me.”
Our society today is guilty of all these offenses too; outside AND inside the church. We want the biggest and the best. We don’t stop to consider if there is a reason or even a lesson behind the need to replace what has been broken down. You would be surprised the things God can use to get out attention! Not EVERY bad thing that happens is God sending a lesson our way, but it never hurts to stop and examine the situation.
There are so many corrupt leaders today that I don’t even know where to start. Calling evil good and good evil is just the tip of the iceberg. Every level has ‘rotten apples’ spoiling the whole bunch. Whatever they touch begins to rot too. PRAISE GOD He can do that in reverse too! By putting His people in place, He is holding this world together until HE is ready for the next step. He has NOT forgotten about the downtrodden or the helpless. He has made provision for ALL of His children, no matter where they lie in this world. And part of our service to Him is to care for those who can’t care for themselves.
Father God, don’t let me fall into these traps. I know I have done the ‘bigger and better’ routine on more than one occasion. Forgive me if that was arrogance. I want to listen EVERY TIME You speak. I also want to help those who You send to me in any way I can. But more than anything else I want to show YOUR love in all I do. No oppression and no arrogance!