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Signs of a Broken Covenant with God

Chapters 1-3 of the Book of Isaiah are very clear about what God allows to happen to a nation that fails to obey God and turn to its own ways.  We must remember that God is not cruel and does not allow trouble to come on a disobedient nation because He takes pleasure in punishment of His people.  He allows these things to come because He knows what we need in order to live in His abundant love, His protection and in His great provisions for us.

It is unbelievable to me that a nation as blessed as America can turn away from such a generous and loving God, but we have certainly done so.  There are certain conditions mentioned in Isaiah 1 that seem to jump out at me which resemble our own country at this time. In this passage God deals with Judah and their rejection of God’s covenant with them and gives them very strong warnings.

·        Isaiah 1:4a: People are weighed down with sin -- We not only enjoy the pleasures of sin, but expect and encourage others to participate with us in our sin.  We used to tell ourselves that what we do in secret does not matter as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.  But now it seems that everything is wide open and anyone who does not want to participate in certain sins needs to be tolerant and accept people as they are.  Christians can no longer talk openly about the consequences of sin because it is considered unacceptable.  Yet, all sin is a cancer that spreads and affects all citizens of this country, especially the younger generations.  Our children are not only disobedient to their parents and teachers, but are threatening to them with violence.  How many times have we been told that children threaten to call the police on their parents, if they cannot have their own way?  How many parents are called into court for disciplining their own children and called abusers because they spank their children for disobedience?

·        Isaiah 1:4b: The people have abandoned the Lord; they have despised the Holy One -- We have removed everything that has any reference to the Lord and a Holy God out of any public part of our nation, and in many private places as well.  Intimidated teachers will no longer mention God, the Bible, prayer or even Christian holidays in the classroom from fear of losing their jobs.  Even if a student brings a Bible to class to read during breaks they are not allowed to keep it in the classroom or read it openly.  Yet, books about witchcraft and cults abound in the school libraries and classes are taught about how to use tarot cards and how to cast spells.  Other religions besides Christianity are free to express themselves anywhere they would like, but Jesus cannot be mentioned.  How did our nation come to this?  Romans 1 clearly tells us that this has happened because, even though we know God, we do not honor Him as God or give thanks.  We profess ourselves to be wise and are fools and exchange the glory of incorruptible God for images in the form of man and other creatures.  We may not worship other creatures, but we do worship man.  We believe that man can do anything if he puts his mind to it.  We pride ourselves on the achievements of man, forgetting that God is the source of all wisdom and gives us the abilities we have.  Nothing that we have comes from ourselves – no talents, no intellect, no abilities, no knowledge, and certainly no power.

·        Isaiah 1:5-6: The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint.  From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it.  Our nation has no idea how sick it really is.  God says that there is nothing sound from the top to bottom.  Without God we are dying and don’t even realize that we are sick.  The land is desolate with hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, insects, diseases.  God promised to an obedient nation that He would put a hedge of protection around that nation, and would not allow certain diseases, plagues and disasters to come upon it.  The obedient nation would have abundance of food and be able to share with others in need.   Our people are unemployed, disease ridden, dependent on the government for provisions, threatened by disasters over which we have no control and full of anxiety.  By rejecting the God who loves us and wants to be our Provider and Protector, we have put ourselves as the mercy of other nations that want to destroy us as a people.

·        Isaiah 1:12-13 When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts?  Bring your worthless offerings no longer … I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.  We continue to have a form of religion and seem to pray when disaster strikes, but our prayers are unheard by God because there is no true repentance for our sin in our hearts.  We may repent of the consequences of our sin because we get caught, but the fact that we have hurt the heart of God with our sin does not cross our minds.  It is like an alcoholic who has lost his family because of his drinking, but only regrets losing his family.  He does not repent of the sin that is in his heart, but just wants the consequences to go away.  God says that this type of repentance is worthless and He calls our offerings worthless.  After September 11, 2001 many people gathered together to pray and sing “God Bless America”.  However, this did not last long and there was no true repentance of our pride and the turning away from God in our society.  I feel certain that God saw those gatherings as “trampling of His courts” and “worthless gifts.”

·        Isaiah 1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.  Your hands are covered with blood.  Our land is full of violence and murder, but we call it free choice.  We are murdering our unborn babies by the millions and do not even want to call it murder.  But God says our hands are covered with blood.  We have allowed pornography to create violent acts against other children and against women.  We live in fear for the children we allow to live because people with evil hearts are allowed to live around us and we often do not know it until it is too late.  Criminals are not punished, but give the freedom to hurt others again over and over.  Our nation has no justice, which is another sign of a disobedient nation.  We do not take seriously the command in Isaiah 1:17 to “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, and plead for the widow.”

·        Isaiah 1:23 Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards.  If this is not a description of most of the government officials in this land, I don’t know what is!  Remember, God is telling us that bad rulers are the fault of the people themselves.  If we obey and honor God, we will choose leaders that reflect our hearts to please God.  If we are rebellious, we get what we deserve in our leaders; these leaders also reflect what is in our hearts.

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