Refusing Treatment

refusing-treatment

The past couple of days I’ve started looking at Isaiah, for us probably the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. The name Isaiah means “salvation of the Lord”. Jesus Christ is mentioned over and over again in this book, not by name but as “Messiah”. Some say  Isaiah was more than a prophet, but that he was an evangelist bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Isaiah wrote about the birth of Christ, the ministry of John the Baptist, Christ’s anointing with the spirit, Israel’s rejection of Him, Jesus the stumbling block, the ministry to the Gentiles, His suffering and death, his resurrection, and His returning to reign as King.

courtroom-drama
But of course, before we get to the Good News we have to hear the bad news. Isaiah starts in chapter 1, with a courtroom scene in which God brings His charges against His people.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Israel had rebelled; on Mt Sinai they had entered into a covenant with Jehovah, but had broken that contract by their unbelief and idolatry. Children have I reared and brought up – God is emphasizing the personal care and interest He has in Israel. But the children He has brought up show less sense and less loyalty than stubborn farm animals. We do not appreciate all that God has done for us and we take our blessings for granted. Israel had forsaken the word of the Lord and been corrupted. They were guilty and deserved judgment.

ox-and-donkey
Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. The corruption and idolatry spanned generations. Children born to parents who were rejected God, simply reject Him more. They (we) deal corruptly in all they do, but don’t even recognize their corruptness. It’s just how things are. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? Why, why will my children continue to reject my love, my nourishment? You’ve gone so far already, will you just continue to drift away? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. It is not just one class of people in Israel who have turned away, it is the whole nation. From the leaders of the nation to the poorest peasants, all have fallen away, all are declared guilty, all deserve the judgment which will come. Despite their sad and sorry state, despite being bloodied from head to toe, Israel is like a man who has been badly beaten and refuses to get help. They refuse to come to God, their Father, their provider. They refuse the help of the Great Physician.

jesus_the_great_physician1
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬. We like to think that we are so different from all those who came before. We tell ourselves we are so much smarter, we have so much more knowledge. It is true we have made many physical discoveries, but unfortunately it seems as though those discoveries are used as cover to hide simple eternal truths which are just as true now as 2800 years ago. God is our provider, our caretaker. All that we have, all the discoveries we’ve made – we are simply discovering what he laid down for us to find.

healing
We are so completely following this old pattern here, and we simply ignore it. We ignore the history of rejecting God. We ignore our own more recent histories, Christian nations who have rejected God. Look at our European brothers, they have rejected Christ  en masse. And the entire European continent is falling apart, morally, spiritually, politically. I wonder if in a few hundred years the great Nations of Europe will be like the lost tribes of Israel. We know they existed, they were an historical fact. But that’s all they are now, all those tribes completely disappeared, there is no lineage or connection to be found.
Yet we we continue in that same path. We are battered and bruised, divided and falling, bloodied and beaten. Yet not only do we refuse treatment, we tell the Great Physician He is simply not needed anymore, not relevant to our condition. We choose to suffer in our sickness, let the cancer eat away at our core. There is a cure for what ails us, how sick will we have to get before we seek treatment?

“The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners. And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/isa.1.1-8.esv

John Lewisl

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s