Isaiah 1.1-2: “The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.”
If I don’t care about you, I don’t care what you do. I couldn’t give a rip. But if I love you, I care a great deal about what you do and what you are doing to yourself. It’s with this in mind that God speaks the prophecy of Isaiah. If He didn’t love, he wouldn’t care about their rebellion. “I reared children and brought them up,” the Lord mourns. It’s an image of personal relationship, compassion and care. (NOTE: The Bible nowhere uses the phrase “personal relationship with God,” but this is one of hundreds of places where the concept is as clear as day.) Israel was God’s SON, and the members of the nation were his children, just as believers are today. He gave them birth (in Egypt), raised them through their youth (in the hard times of the desert), and led them into adulthood in giving them their land. He had invested deeply in them, loving them, watching over them, protecting then, and helping them. He had given them meaning and a purpose, but they walked away from it—not only that, but rebelled against Him. Isaiah is mourning the unnaturalness of it all: why would someone who has been fed, housed, clothed, and provided for run away from the One who loves them and takes care of them? All the miracles in the world and the benefits of friendship with God hadn’t helped to keep them close to him; neither had the discipline he had given to teach them when they had made a mistake and to make changes. Just as this song from the Black-Eyed Peas says:
As I’m gettin’ older, y’all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin’
Selfishness got us followin’ our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That’s the reason why sometimes I’m feelin’ under
That’s the reason why sometimes I’m feelin’ down
There’s no wonder why sometimes I’m feelin’ under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
Now ask yourself
Where is the love?
– Black-Eyed Peas, “Where Is The Love”, 2011
I know that some would accuse that obedience to authority over us—such as the government, the church, parents, and God—results in wimpy submission and brainless conformity, and that’s possible, but what makes the difference is whether the obedience is demanded by a loving entity who has your best interests in mind, or if it’s a manipulative being who wants to suppress you. Suppression and fear are what result in mindless conformity and weak submission; honest love results in true freedom within the confines of boundaries designed for your well-being.
God says, “You’re family. You’re my child. That’s how I feel about you, even as you rebel against me. I just want you to know that at the beginning.”
Feel free to comment, or talk to me in the Q&A Forum. Let me know what you think.