Some people who called themselves God’s chosen people thought that being Israelite was good enough for God. Some people who call themselves Christian think that calling themselves by His name is good enough and makes them better than other people. But being Jewish or being baptized has nothing to do with a relationship with God or salvation.
Where is your heart? How do your priorities manifest themselves in your daily life and in your relationship with God? Do you say you obey the laws God has given you and yet you are not even kosher? Do you think God doesn’t care about your lies? Do you proclaim Christianity but ignore the hungry man on the corner on your way to church on Christmas Eve? If you say you are a child of the Lord God Almighty, then you desire what He desires, you love what and whom He loves.
God wants a relationship with you. He is waiting with open arms for you. Even though you ignore His laws, His wants, and His heart. Verses 1-5 read,
“I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
to a nation that was not called by my name.
2 I spread out my hands all the day
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;
3 a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and making offerings on bricks;
4 who sit in tombs,
and spend the night in secret places;
who eat pig's flesh,
and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;
5 who say, “Keep to yourself,
do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
You can choose to continue pleasing yourself. You can continue to think you are good enough and even better than other people. God will let you. And you will pay for your offenses. Or you can realize your depravity and ask God to forgive you. You can accept Jesus’ grace and align your heart with God’s heart and your spirit with His Spirit.
God has left a remnant of Israel that will turn to Him for salvation. God has chosen others to be His people as well, who changed the direction of their lives from self-fulfillment to Godly aspirations. For those He has promised amazing things. Just as He promised terrible repayment for sin, He promised to forget the sins of those who call on Jesus and give them great rewards instead. (Verses 8-12).
There is only one choice really. You can choose Jesus or you can choose to deny God. The consequences are in verses 13-16.
“Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, my servants shall eat,
but you shall be hungry;
behold, my servants shall drink,
but you shall be thirsty;
behold, my servants shall rejoice,
but you shall be put to shame;
14 behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,
but you shall cry out for pain of heart
and shall wail for breaking of spirit.
15 You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse,
and the Lord God will put you to death,
but his servants he will call by another name.
16 So that he who blesses himself in the land
shall bless himself by the God of truth,
and he who takes an oath in the land
shall swear by the God of truth;
because the former troubles are forgotten
and are hidden from my eyes.”
Where are your priorities? Is your assertion of Christ lip-service or does it go to the heart and express itself in your life? Read about the beauty and the joy of Eternity for those whom God has given a new name. Verses 17-19 read,
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.”
Verses 24-25 read,
“Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.”
The greatest joy of salvation is the relationship you have with the Lord. Your Father, Your Savior and Your Comforter is closer to you than someone without that relationship can imagine. He knows you so well that even before you ask, He answers. If you do not know Him like this, step down from your thoughts of how good you are, realize you just can’t ever be good enough, and give yourself to Him completely. Let Him forgive you and transform you and give you the joy of grace. If you don’t know how, I am right here to guide you. Just contact me and I’ll help you. It is easy to give up trying to be good enough and striving to be holy. Call on Jesus.