Consequences; February 7, 2018

Isaiah 65:13-14 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“My servants will eat,
but you will go hungry;
my servants will drink,
but you will go thirsty;
my servants will rejoice,
but you will be put to shame.
My servants will sing
out of the joy of their hearts,
but you will cry out
from anguish of heart
and wail in brokenness of spirit.”

There could hardly be a more explicit statement of the consequences of rebelling against God. The first part of this chapter goes into some detail about the idolatrous practices of many of the Jews, who thought they deserved the blessings of God simply by physical descent. After that description, we get the “Therefore” at the start of verse 13. It is amazing sometimes how we think we can flaunt God and not suffer the consequences. The flip side of that is the blessed state of those who are committed to serving God, also described here. Simply put, all physical and emotional needs will be met. That’s certainly worth working for! As I keep being reminded, actions have consequences. God is very much a God of grace, and He consistently gives us better than we deserve, but if there is no repentance, there is no remedy. God calls us to seek Him, but if we close our ears and turn our backs, we have brought our fate on ourselves.

I must never forget that this applies to me as much as it does to anyone. I spent too long in my youth thinking that my lineage entitled me to special privileges, which it didn’t. I did receive generational blessings, but what I did with those was my responsibility, and too often I squandered them. I will always remember the moment the Lord tapped me on the shoulder, and when I turned, He had a mirror to show me the blackness of my soul. I will be eternally grateful for that moment, as painful as it was, because repentance brings forgiveness and healing, just as the Bible says. (1 John 1:9, etc.) As a pastor in a largely non-Christian nation I try to help people understand the consequences of the path they have taken, but the vast majority have no ears to hear, no background to understand the concept of eternal judgment and eternal salvation. They are so fixated on the here and now that even Christians have trouble prioritizing their walk with Christ over the demands of society. I can’t fix that by the force of argument, but I can speak the truth in love, and I must do so, allowing the Holy Spirit to take His words through me and use them to change people’s hearts. “You can’t fix stupid” is a well-known expression, but nothing is impossible for God, so I’ve got to keep praying and trusting Him to take the spiritual blinders off of those to whom I minister, for their salvation and His glory.

Father, thank You for Your grace and Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your mercy toward me. Help me extend that grace and mercy faithfully to all, so that as many as will may leave the way of destruction and enter the way of salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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