Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth!
For the LORD has spoken:
"I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?" says the LORD.
"I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats...
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;
Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool...
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword."
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
I will turn my hand against you;
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.
I will restore your judges as in days of old,
your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City."
I am so thankful for the Lord's purging work. He sees my apathy, the way I get wrapped up in my own little life and practically forget about Him. As a Father, He won't allow me to stay this way. He CAN'T allow me to. But His purging, while sometimes a very painful process, is designed to bring redemption. To ultimately heal. To bring me back.
Being a parent and watching a child choose to disobey (to their own detriment), has really opened my eyes to how my heavenly Father feels and responds to me when I choose my own way over His.
He takes it seriously, He aches over hard hearts, He will not stop pursuing...
I am so thankful for this glimpse into the heart of God as He deals with His children. Surprised to find it in Isaiah, but now I'm really excited to study this book as a whole (we're going through it this year at BSF).
Final challenging thought from this morning's study comes from these verses:
You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.
What are the sacred oaks and gardens of my life? What am I choosing over Him? What has become more important and more of a priority to me than my relationship with the Lord? Really made me think this morning...
*And just for fun, some soccer pics. The season is in full swing!