What do you do when you know you’ve done wrong? You can deny it. You can wallow and continue doing wrong. You can stop doing wrong and turn over a new leaf, so to speak, on you own. OR You can stop, repent- be sorry for your wrong doing- and turn from doing what is wrong, seeking God’s help to go in a new way away. In Isaiah 57, God is confronting the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah. In verses 1-13, Isaiah points out their sins towards God. They were worshiping other gods as they made offerings to stone idols, put up pagan symbols in their homes, and burned incense to the wicked god Molech. God questions the Isarelites and asks, who will you turn to when you are in trouble? Your collection of idols will not answer and no help will be found in them. God ends this confrontation with challenge and hope. Isaiah 57:11-13 “Are you afraid of these idols?
Do they terrify you?
Is that why you have lied to me
and forgotten me and my words?
Is it because of my long silence
that you no longer fear me?
12 Now I will expose your so-called good deeds.
None of them will help you.
13 Let’s see if your idols can save you
when you cry to them for help.
Why, a puff of wind can knock them down!
If you just breathe on them, they fall over!
But whoever trusts in me will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain.”
What are you doing now or have done in the past that God is confronting you about it? Where are you putting your hope and trust? Are you placing your hope in man-made things or people instead of God? God says the idols you so hopefully worship and put your trust in can be knocked over by the wind, they will not answer you or support you when you ask for help. God alone promises help and restoration with an inheritance!
I love God’s promise in Isaiah 57:15 “The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place
with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” God says He dwells with the one who is contrite in spirit and humble. Contrite is an old-fashioned word that means one who shows sincere remorse, and has a sense of guilt and deisres atonement. God seeks those who have a repentant heart and desire to turn to Him for help. He promises restoration and revived courage to live rightly. In verse 19 He promises peace, “I will comfort those who mourn,
19 bringing words of praise to their lips.
May they have abundant peace, both near and far,”
says the Lord, who heals them.”
Restoration, peace and healing are to be found with God! Praise God! In Him we will find hope and forgiveness. If we do not make the choice to come to Him with a contrite and humble heart, verse 20-21 tell of the consequences that await us. “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea,
which is never still
but continually churns up mud and dirt.
21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
says my God.“
Again, I ask, what do you do when you know you’ve done wrong? The Isarelites who turned back to God and recieved His forgiveness that was filled with grace, mercy and hope. Those who did not turn back to God were rejected and found no peace. Consider the power of repentance and the cost of being unrepentant. Which will you choose?