December 30, 2015

Isaiah 1:21-31

As we continue in chapter one, we find the Lord God continuing to chastise his people, calling their meaningless sacrifices and religious assemblies an abomination. He saw their lifestyle did not match what they professed outwardly. This is quite a similar situation to our Lord’s encounter with the scribes and Pharisees, recorded in Matthew 15:7-9. Jesus said to them, “This people draws near to me with their mouth and honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” In fact, in this passage, we find that Jesus quoted from Isaiah 29:13.

As a result of their rebellion and sin, judgment fell upon God’s people during Isaiah’s ministry. Samaria was captured, Israel taken into captivity around 720 BC, and Judah was invaded by Sennacherib, King of Syria around 701 BC. All was not lost, however, for we are reminded in Isaiah 1:9 the Lord had a very small remnant who were faithful to him. You will recall after his great victory over the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, Elijah was threatened by the wicked Jezebel and fled for his life. Despondent and afraid, he cried out to the Lord that he alone is left of the faithful. The Lord reminds Elijah that he has 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

God always has a remnant of faithful believers as the Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 11:5. This remnant is according to the election of grace. We understand that within the national Israel, there is a spiritual Israel—a small remnant of believers which I believe is yet true today.