God’s Annoying, Relentless Pursuit

April 30, 2013

Tuesday Re-mix –

So people will be brought low 
   and everyone humbled, 
   the eyes of the arrogant humbled. 
But the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, 
   and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.  Isaiah 5:15-16

Have you ever taught through the book of Isaiah?  It is the same lesson, week after week.  The people’s “religion” is meaningless, our hearts are not turned toward God, we show no compassion for our brethren in poverty, God is severely displeased and judgment is coming.  Seriously, how many different ways can you teach this lesson and keep it fresh?  After a while, it begins to sound like so much “white noise”, difficult to hear with any discernment.

So, that frustration makes me wonder what the people of Judah thought after about 40 years or so of hearing from Isaiah!  Forty years!  Can you imagine?

Maybe you can.  Maybe there is a voice (or two or three) in your own church whom you have grown weary of hearing and have just tuned out.  It is negative, and persistent, and harsh, and annoying, and you have (over time) just grown tired of it. So you have tuned it out.  Surely, you have tuned it out because you have determined that it is not God speaking (or, at least that it has not been thus far).  I suppose my first challenge to you is, are you sure?  Because “negative”, “persistent”, “harsh” and “annoying” are all characteristics of possible words from the Lord, at least according to how I read my Bible.  I suspect that Isaiah fit all of those.  I strongly suspect he became just a bunch of “white noise” to the people of Judah after a few years of this message.

But God persisted.  Isaiah persisted.  Like the parent of a rebellious teenager trying yet again to make his point, because he loves that teenager too much to just be silent, God persisted year after year after year with this same message.  And Judah missed it, because (like that rebellious teenager) they tuned it out.  We can make that same mistake.

So here are two important questions: (1) Aren’t you grateful for a God Who persists, even when you refuse to hear? and (2) what voice(s) have you prematurely tuned out because they are negative or harsh or annoying or simply not what you want to hear?  Do you think you can afford to tune them out?

© Blake Coffee
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