Isaiah

 

 Isaiah Chapter 57

 

  • Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

A good answer to why the righteous may die. God may sometimes take people home to be with Him that they may escape some evil event that would have come into their lives.

Until Jesus comes again to set up His kingdom and we have a righteous ruler, evil continues on the earth. Bad things do happen because of sin and rebellion that is in the hearts of the inhabitants of the earth. Sorrow, crying, and disasters occur. Sometimes the Lord miraculously protects us in these times but sometimes He just decides that it is enough and calls a faithful follower home to be with Him. He or she then escapes further sorrow and pain and enters everlasting peace, joy and contentment in the presence of the Lord.

In light of today's world of euthanasia and abortion, I will state plainly though that the decision to go home to be with the Lord must remain with the Lord. We have no right to terminate someone's life on our own. We could make a mess of things. God is still a God that heals and does miracles. This type of decision must come from God. We cannot trust mankind to do this. Our motives are not always pure. Still when the Lord decides to take someone home and that person knows the Lord, it is more of a comfort than if a person is not ready to meet His maker.

"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. "

  • Isaiah 57:2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

There is peace to all those that die knowing the Lord.

  • Isaiah 57:3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
  • 4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,
  • 5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?

Those that serve other gods and idols are esteemed as adulterers and whores. Some in reading the Old Testament have thought God to be harsh in His judgment but consider what past civilizations did.

Idolatry- they served idols to the point of sacrificing their own children to please the idol. They thought the idol would protect and bless them if they sacrificed their own children in their worship.

Slavery- Slaves had no life of their own. They were considered the lowest of the low and were allowed to exist only for the benefit of their masters.

Cruelty-On enemy nations they would be cruel and punish with extreme cruelty and suffering having no mercy.

Sorcery-Sorcery and witchcraft was a common practice.

Forsaking the true and the living God brings other sins upon a nation and the result is the suffering and bondage of the innocent and the children. Spiritual adultery leads to real adultery. Sexual immorality leads to disease and degrading of the nation as a whole. Strong families are the backbone of a strong nation. When families start to break up, the nation is in danger.

They actually practiced a religion in which children were killed to appease a false god. This too can happen in a society where the making of money and pursuing our own interests result in the neglect of our children. How many children today are raising themselves and left without any parental guidance? They are sacrificed for the idols of pleasure and indulgence.

  • Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
  • 7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.
  • 8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.
  • 9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.
  • 10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.

How it must grieve God when He calls a nation His own, leads them out of bondage, gives them a land flowing with milk and honey, blesses them abundantly and they forsake Him for vain idols that cannot see, hear, deliver or do anything for them.

We can do the same thing today when we forsake the worship, awe and respect for our Lord and pursue other things. Our desires, wants and pleasures cannot save, delivery, or heal in the time of trouble.

We need to put the Lord first, to seek His face and to desire His very presence in our lives. Sometimes we desire to be saved and escape hell but we really do not desire to walk daily in His presence, to seek His guidance and to worship Him in the beauty of holiness.

Do we desire the very presence of the Lord in our lives continually? If we did I don't think we would have to worry about what is right or wrong. I don't think we would even desire to sin.

  • Isaiah 57:11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?

Fearing what men thinks of us, fearing anything else and not fearing the Lord is dangerous. We need to care more about what God thinks of us than what our fellow men may think. When a nation loses its fear of God, sin abounds continually.

How do you think an abortion clinic can set up business and murder innocent children all day long? They have no fear of God. They do not think God cares or will do anything about it. Their conscience is seared. They do not consider it to be a sin.

When we first do something wrong our conscience will bother us. If we continually do the thing over and over again ignoring our conscience, then soon the act will not seem wrong any more. Sometimes we will convince ourselves that it is even right. Our conscience is then seared. We no longer can discern between good and evil.

  • Isaiah 57:12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.

When we forsake God, all that we do will be for nothing and will not prosper.

  • Isaiah 57:13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;

All the things that we trust in will not save and deliver in times of trouble.

This happened to Israel in the Old Testament. The nations they were lusting after, desiring to walk in the ways of those nations, later became their enemies. When they began to desire the ways of other nations who served false gods, those nations would later bring them into bondage and oppression. Then only God would be able to deliver them.

  • Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.

The idols, nations, and other things are vain and cannot deliver in times of trouble. Even other religions cannot change the heart or take away sin. They may be able to control behavior through fear or human will but no other religion or power can save. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can a soul be truly saved from sin. Jesus brings a "New Birth" or inner cleansing that changes the heart. True Christianity is more than just another religion; it is life changing. Wells of living water spring up within the soul. It brings everlasting life.

  • Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

God is eternity, He always was and He always will be. The only way to have everlasting joy and peace with God is through the way He made for us by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ who paid the price of our sin by His own death that He didn't deserve to die. God will inhabit eternity and only those that follow Him will be with Him.

  • Isaiah 57:16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

We could not stand before God if He was not forgiving. We could not abide in His presence. He made a perfect way for us to be able to dwell with Him.

  • Isaiah 57:17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.

Sin separates us from God, Jesus Christ brings us back to God. Sin also separated the nation of Israel from the protection and blessings of God but they will be restored and redeemed. The same Jesus Christ that saved and redeemed the Gentiles who receive Him will also restore and save the literal nation of Israel.

  • 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
  • 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
  • 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
  • 21. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

The wicked are troubled with no direction, with no peace and no soundness of mind. To trust completely in the living God for our salvation is peace, joy and love. When we stay away from God and do not seek His presence, we actually rob ourselves of peace and contentment. There is nothing: Education, jobs, homes, possessions, family, or friends that can ever take the place of a life walking with the Lord.

Isaiah 58

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