“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O Earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” (Isaiah 1:2-3)
The prophet Isaiah drew a comparison between the farm animals that served in his day and the people of the nation of Israel. The ox recognizes who owns him and serves accordingly. The donkey also realizes who nourishes and provides for him, but Israel took no thought for the One that owned and fed them. They did not “consider” God.
The refusal to give to God His rightful place goes to the heart of what sin is. The goal of removing God from His own world dominates human thinking today. People like to think mankind has reached the place where God can be ignored. This is called ungodliness. The consequence is that His rules are also despised. This is called lawlessness.
Israel put these philosophies to the test long ago and this first chapter in Isaiah describes the results.
“Why should ye be stricken anymore? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” (Isaiah 1:5)
They refused to be corrected by God and became like a body that was first of all sick in the heart and mind.
Isaiah continues this comparison of the nation to a body.
“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. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” (Isaiah 1:6-7)
Without God everything goes to pieces. Individual lives deteriorate into chaos. Countries become horrible places that people want to escape from. Today the insanity is spreading to a global scale. Sin is making the world crazy.
What is the solution?
“Hear the word of the Lord.” (Isaiah 1:10a)
Only God has the answer to the problems created by human defection from Him. He challenges all that are willing to make a break from the ruin of sin to listen to reason.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
This verse is fulfilled beautifully today in the salvation that is available through faith in Jesus Christ. God sees us as sin-stained and guilty, but He also has a way to make us clean by salvation through His Son. His death paid the penalty we deserve and His resurrection followed so He could share eternal life with all who would trust Him as Saviour.