Isaiah 65-66, Psalm 121
Any of us who have children can envision the days when our children wanted to "help". If a car was being washed they would have interest for around 2 minutes and their contribution usually slowed us down, but they would be filled with such self-importance as they were helping. The same thing in the house, if helping with a meal,etc. It would be cute to see just how much they thought they were contributing and even state, "I cooked dinner", when in reality their contribution amounted to nothing or in reality it only slowed us down. We, God's children, are not much different. We exalt our small contributions as though the world hinges on our abilities and strengths, when in reality it always has been and always will be based on His perfect ability and strength. Notice the "I" in Isaiah 65:17-18, 24, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind...For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy...It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear." Again in 66:18, "For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they come and see My glory." It is sad but probably cute to God that we have about as much ability to change the course of world events as the young child in the analogy above, but we fill ourselves with such self importance actually believing that we are in control of world events and not Him.
We read in Isaiah 66:2-4, "For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist," Says the Lord. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word. "He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog's neck;...So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight." As we come to the end of the book of Isaiah we should be amazed at how much God chose to speak to Isaiah and how much the prophet heard. I wonder how much smaller the book would have been or it there would have even been a prophet or a book if he owned an I-phone, a radio, a television, a computer, etc. The prophet trembled at His word and left himself available to actually hear. How often do we surround ourselves with distractions which effectively block out the voice of God. Even good things can block Him out. If worship music is continually playing how can we hear Him? If the I-phone is always going off with a new alert how can we concentrate. The sacrifice of the bull and lamb mentioned above were part of the sacrificial system and were good, but were being done in a rote fashion and without an openness to be moved by God. How often we can be guilty of the same thing.
Unfortunately, we all want to be the captain of our ship. But this is not God's way. We all want to manipulate our future, fashioned for what we think is best. But God always knows better. The problem is like the young child above we exalt our own views above His. As bad as that, we drown His voice out with a multitude of distractions. So as the verse said before in 66:2, "On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word." , may we literally approach His Word daily with fear and trembling. May we approach Him in prayer with openness and with expectation. He is talking, but are any of us listening? He is trying to mold us, but are we allowing Him to do so? Let us all approach Him without distractions, so that we, the children of God, are in a position to understand and follow His good and perfect will for our lives.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: