I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts.Isaiah 65:2
Let it be known that God is gracious and merciful. Above all he is long suffering. In spite of our rebelliousness, he spreads out his hands all day long, that is, he makes himself available and approachable to those who are disinterested, to those “who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts.”
Our case study here is that of the people of Israel, who rebelled against God in every imaginable way, and who, in the end, were severely punished, with debilitating effects reaching into generations to come (God “will even repay into their bosom”). People today have no excuse either, with the greatest story ever told available at their fingertips, i.e., the Bible.
Here’s a smattering of what the Israelites did or didn’t do. They did not ask for him, seek him, or call on his name. They provoked him to his face, offered strange sacrifices in secret places, and ate forbidden food. Perhaps the worse, they kept themselves aloof from God. They were worse than a bad cold.
These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.Isaiah 65:5
The problem is not that the temptations were so besetting like those is Sodom and Gomorrah that they were sucked into them involuntarily. No, the temptation was simple and started with the decision to live their lives on their own.
We can do the same thing, to decide early on “his thoughts will not be our thoughts.” While the pages of God’s word remain open and discoverable, the decision is made to not allow them to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
Isaiah’s words clearly outline the plusses and minuses.
My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.
My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty.
My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.
My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart, but you will cry out with a heavy heart, and you will wail with a broken spirit.
My servants will be called by another name. You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones.
In the “immortal” words of Fleetwood Mac,
You can go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way.
And the truly immortal Isaiah says,
Because he who is blessed in the earth
Will be blessed by the God of truth;
And he who swears in the earth
Will swear by the God of truth;
Because the former troubles are forgotten,
And because they are hidden from My sight!
Loving you is the right thing to do!