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Friday, January 14, 2011

Isaiah (Part 1)

Isaiah begins by urging the nation of Israel to turn away from their wickedness. He uses words like laden with iniquity, seeds of evildoers, backward, stricken, sick. He goes so far as to say that they were not to far from being as Sodom & Gomorrah. Yikes! A city utterly destroyed by sulfur for how evil it was.

Verse 11 of Chapter 1 states: to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me... Verse 13: Bring no more vain oblations...the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies... it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. The LORD goes on to say, that his soul hates their new moons and appointed feasts.

Hates, did I read that right. He hates?

As I read this Chapter in Isaiah this morning it reminded me of the verse we studied in our adult Sunday School recently. James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

Both Isaiah and James appear to be talking about our religion being VAIN! I say appear to be vastly political since I am neither a scholar or a reverend. I figure that word appear covers my butt in a multitude of ways. Well, it works for lawyers and counselors.

Ok, back to the article.

Vain in Isaiah comes from the Hebrew word vanity which means hollow, false, deceitful, hypocritical.


Noah Webster defines the word vain in Isaiah 1 as being not effectual, which means it's inefficient and weak, not producing it's proper effect.

Webster defines vain in James 1 as false, deceitful, not genuine.

My heart is grieved as I read the end of Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

To think that I have, am, or will cause my Lord trouble, that the very acts of my worship to the creator could be hard for him to bear... it puts a lump in my throat and a heaviness on my chest. It makes me look deeper inside. Has my worship or work for the Lord been a deception to my heart? Is it worthless, empty, profitless?

It causes me to wonder how did this faithful city became a harlot? (Isaiah 1:21) How did this righteous nation become enemies to God? (Isaiah 1:24) How did they forget and how can I protect myself and my family from the same end?

In Isaiah 1:16-17 it says: Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Wait a minute, didn't James mention this very same thing? James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fartherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Both verses are saying the same things after they rebuked the same things. These books are many years apart and the Lord was still dealing with the same issues.

Well this gives us some meat to chew on for the day. be continued.

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