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Sunday: Hear, O Heavens — 20 Comments

  1. It does not make a lot of sense to read Isaiah 1:1-9 by itself because the full intent of the message comes when you read vs 10-29 as well. It was not just that the people were sinful, but they were also practising their religion, They were in fact guilty of hypocrisy.

    Paul summarises it like this:

    Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 1 Tim 3:5 KJV

    The temptation is always there to get so bound up in the form of our religion that we deny the very essence of our Christianity.

    I read an article, by modern Christian Opinion Editor who pointed out the times we have put our religion ahead of compassion today and doing so we have lost our voice in the modern world. Is that what Isaiah would have said to Christians today?

    • I agree with you 100%. As a Church we go through all the motions of "church". Singing, learning doctrines , paying tithes and offerings, etc. Yet we truly do not love or care about each other, the least about those who are not of the faith. We misrepresent God by our actions. Like Paul said we are just beating on the going making loud noise but empty of true love.

      • About Laura Lambert's - And where is this true love should started from? Answer: That is exactly what Maurice Ashton brought up, Tim 3:5 KJV. This is absolutely true: A family is where the life of a person begins. What the bible says about a family is in Mark 10:7-8: the man with a wife and children. The man is the head and the leader of a family: this is where he has to start his job of being a good leader. if he cannot be a good leader in the house, where else he cannot be? Everything starts from the family, then the church, then the community, then the government, and then the universe. But the top of everything is God (our Foundation)

  2. Animals are alert in a way humans are not. You hear stories of a pet raising the alarm of a burning building or even of sniffing out cancer. You hear of chickens that refuse to roost, cows that won't stop mooing, or fish swimming frantically before an earthquake. The animals know who takes care of them, Isaiah says (Isaiah 1:3). Jesus later also pointed to nature to say that God cares for lilies and sparrows, so why not us (Matthew 6:26-29).

    If the animals are so closely attuned to God's movements and voice, can I also hear and sense God in this body, a temple of His Holy Spirit? (John 10:27-28; 1 Cor 6:19-20) Can I still live wholeheartedly and obediently for Him when given the power of choice, a gift of responsibility beyond instinct and reflexes only?

  3. The study guide is looking at the first chapter of Isaiah in four sections, today it is verses 1-9.
    The thoughts I get from this passage is the issue of rebellion. What is rebellion? It is resisting established authority. Throughout history we find people rising up against the rulers of their land. Today's illustration reminds us of the French revolution, America revolted against British rule, here in South Africa it was the majority against the minority rulers. Rebellion is so prevalent in the world it is now assumed that the rulers are corrupt and the rebels must be supported because they are fighting for their rights. While this is often the case it is not always true.
    In Heaven Lucifer rebelled against God's government which was just and merciful, so Lucifer and one third of the angels were cast out of Heaven.
    Now here in Isaiah the LORD points out that His children were rebelling against His government. We know that God's way was the best and for their benefit.
    How does the LORD describe their condition? He uses several word pictures, the one that resonates with me, in our pandemic, is sickness and that they had turned their backs on the LORD.

    An important point to remember in our study of the book of Isaiah is that it was addressed to the nation of Judah who claimed to be God's chosen people who had entered into a covenant with Him, these were not pagans.
    To apply the situation to our day the message of Isaiah is for Christians not atheists.

    We will learn more this week of the problems and the offered solution.

  4. I think the book of Isaiah opens with pain. There’s pain and loneliness in trying to talk about God with those who have once known Him and have turned away. God gave Isaiah visions to share with a people who did not want anything to do with Him or His Word. With no human audience to hear him the prophet cried out into space, “Listen O heaven and hear O earth” (Isaiah 1:2).

    Can you relate to having some thing awesome in your hand given by God himself which would bring healing, blessings and deliverance and the people you care about aren’t ready to receive it? That’s what I’m experiencing right now at this holiday time staying with family who has some pretty serious addiction problems. My precious family members who were leaders in church and had daily worship growing up and now make fun of me if I mention the Bible or will only “pray” over a meal using the term Christ because they believe we are all individual “Christs”. Last night they chose to watch a reality show where everyone is lying and the winner is the one that lies the best. Kindness amongst family members turns into manipulation and threats and the sweetness once there for family is overshadowed by a growing greed for self-indulgence. Those I love so much physically bearing the complexion of their lifestyle like Isaiah 1:5-6.

    I want to be vulnerable in sharing this for a second because there might be others out there in the same position. Let’s pray for each other. Let’s keep praying that we will be humble and loving - not angry or bitter - so that God can do his work for those whom we love. Like Isaiah, we can model what it’s like to keep God first , keep speaking the truth when God asks us to and not be hushed. And comfort that God shares our frustration and tears.

    • Esther,they know the truth and that what you're doing is right somewhere deep in their hearts. You are in essence their Isaiah 1:9 a " very small remnant " they will run to a source of order after the eventual results of willingly indulging in chaos/disorder

      • Your encouragement is received gratefully, Brother Okullu! Thank you so much for identifying it with the word "chaos" and for the matching Scripture. I believe you're correct, they do know somewhere inside. I'm grateful for all intercessory prayers for my birth family.

  5. God made the human race in His/Their Image. I think this implies, all humans are His children by physical and spiritual origin. If man does not know His Father’s Will, he does not rebel, but if he knows or knew His Will, man is considered in rebellion to His Father’s Will.
    The issue of spiritual separation from the Father, and therefore *ignorance* of His Will and a *heartened heart*, is at the core of all of man’s acts of self-will.

    What is the essence of the message of Isaiah1:2KJV? Isaiah speaks for the Creator of Heaven and earth who declares to all His Creation that He is the Father of Children who have gone astray! His children are at various stages of rebellion, having turned away from Him, choosing to listen to false teachings, using gods made by their own hands and expecting them to help with troubles of their own making. Instead of looking to their Covenant God, their Protector and Provider of help, they choose to walk in the folly of the imaginations of their own self-will.

    There is nothing new under the sun; the evidence of the effects of the separation from our Creator is everywhere. Then as now we find, when man turns away from the Will of the Father and looks for wisdom and guidance from other sources, it will end in disaster.
    Deut.4:26KJV should put everyone on alert – The Father’s witnesses are all around, as man cannot get away from Heaven or earth; we are part of His Creation, we cannot hide anywhere when even our thoughts and intents are known by Heaven - Jer.17:10KJV; Prov.16:1-33KJV.

    Isaiah1:5KJV – “Why should ye be stricken any *MORE*? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. The Father saw that the *sickness of separation*, the darkness of His children’s ignorance had overtaken them; they lost their way and could not turn to Him anymore - they could not remember that help can only come from their Creator God.
    Isaiah1:6KJV – “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” God saw the time would come when ‘band aids’ could no longer provide help; Israel needed radical surgery in order to survive.
    Isaiah1:9KJV – “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” God’s Grace saves!

    Prov.3:5-7KJV – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

  6. Thank you for sharing, Esther! I am sure many, including myself, can empathize with your situation. We should keep everyone’s most precious, personal ‘mission field’ in our prayers!

  7. This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established
    2 Corinthians 13:1

    In Israel the country had different systems of government and the civil system was one. In such, laws were clearly laid out for Judges to judge the people when cases arise. In the OT we are told when there was a dispute and one takes their case to the judge there must be two or three witness to establish their case or else the case can be throw out. Deutro 17:6; 19:15. Now the Lord called two witness- heaven and earth which were two witnesses mandated by He himself. The Lord is consistent with his words.
    The sins of Judah and Israel were worst than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. But what were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah?

    • Sodomy takes it name from Sodom and Gomorrah, and there were other sins shown in the account like inhospitality. To me an important thing to note is the insidiousness of sin after living in it for a time. And how serious a delayed response to God's commands are. Lot told his sons-in-law with urgency to get out of the evil city (Genesis 19:14). But later he himself hesitated when it was time to leave and the angels grasped his hands and the hands of his wife and 2 daughters and led them out of the city, "for the Lord was merciful to them" (Genesis 19:16). Wow! What a God! Please grab our hands, Lord, and never stop pulling us out!

    • Not sure just what you mean by "Cote" as I cannot find it in Isa 1 or the lesson discussion. Is it a typo? A cote is a man-made bird nest and is mentioned in the Bible - bot only in 2 Chronicles.

      • Okay that is an error

        i mean to ask what does "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth" means or stands for in the context of Isiah 1, does it stands for emphasis as the writer said in the study guide "The Lord isn’t implying that heaven and earth, themselves, can hear and understand. Instead, He does it for emphasis" or a suggestion that the massage embraces a larger audience?

        • Aha! Sorry, I should have recognised "Cote" as "Quote" - phonetic spelling. Forgive me for being a bit slow. It makes sense now.

          Your analysis is quite correct. The expression is a poetic expression and means exactly what you say it is.

          • Are you sure it means exactly what it says?

            Or could it be that God is, in addition to using the expression as a metaphor, calling on the universe of intelligent beings to witness, in the context of the universal great controversy, what has happened in Judah, and what He has done, is doing, and will do for Judah if they remain faithful cf, what the consequence will be/is should they fail to "come around."

            Personally, I see the experience we've studied about in Isaiah 1 and now in Isaiah 6 to be the result of complacency brought about by prosperity; a slow and insidious drifting away from the norms of God's desires into the "jaws" of worldliness and its accompanying appeals to self (and instant) gratification.

            And therein, it appears to be a very timely exercise in Bible study.

  8. The message of Isaiah, and of all of the prophets, has been the narrative of fallen humanity in every generation. Sin enters, and immediately God's plan to save is introduced. The Lord is always seeking His lost sheep.

    Today, we are either of the remnant or of those to whom the remnant brings the message of God's remedy for sinners. Isaiah is God's appeal to us today. If we don't read this message as personal, it will be of no use to us. There are many "exceeding great and precious promises" to be found in Isaiah!

  9. Rebellion is a very interesting word. In the biblical context rebellion is what caused Lucifer now Satan to fall. Rebellion comes in many forms, unfortunately those who are in a rebellious state of mind do not know they are being rebellious for the most part. Hence the Bible says "but we did so many things in your name". Rebellion is as witchcraft and God loaths witchcraft. After returning back to the Seventh day Adventist message. I learned to appreciate truth. I am Fourth generation SDA and had rebelled against God because of extreme hurt by the church as a little girl and young adult and turned to the occult. I was practicing witchcraft and practicing voodoo. Praise the Lord that when I came back I was able to see the state of rebellion that the church is in, but, praise God I also see that He is shaking up his people to wake up. Isaiah is a very interesting book and I value everyone's feedback for it helps me grow in areas that I don't know. Thank you happy Sabbath.


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