Isaiah 30:21-22 ESV
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!’”
The history here is that the children of Israel of that time were being stubborn and rebellious. They were making alliances and carrying out plans that were not of God. And they were adding sin to sin. They were lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord. And they were saying to the Lord’s messengers to stop telling them what was right but to speak to them smooth things and to prophesy illusions. They didn’t want to hear anymore about the Holy God of Israel.
And this parallels over to the church at large here in America and perhaps in other nations, too. Only you know what it is like in your nation. I can only speak of my own country for it is what I know. And I know that the vast majority of the church here in America is rejecting the “right way” and that they are listening to those who are telling them smooth things and who are deceptive and who are tricksters who are teaching half-truths (lies) instead of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the truth offends people.
And so the Lord spoke to the people, like he is speaking to his wayward ones today, or to those who make a profession of him but not in truth, and he is saying that in returning to him and in resting in him you shall be saved. And this involves forsaking sins to follow Jesus in obedience. For that is the essence of the gospel message that Jesus taught and that his New Testament apostles taught. We must die with Christ to sin and then we must walk in holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord.
But they weren’t listening to the Lord, like many people who profess him as Savior are not listening to him today. And so they were doing whatever they wanted to do in following after the flesh and not after the Spirit. But then the Lord is saying that he longs to be gracious to you. But his grace is not free license to continue in deliberate and habitual sin. His grace trains us to renounce ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we await his soon return (Titus 2:11-14).
And then we have the verses quoted above at the beginning of this writing. The Lord is telling us the way that is his way that we should walk in it. We just need to listen to what he says and then obey him. And when we obey him we will forsake our lives of sin and we will walk in obedience to his commands, and we will cast off all idols and sinful habits and sinful addictions and we will say to them, “Be gone!” But this must not be words only. We have to cast them off and then we have to obey our Lord.
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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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