Cease ye from Man
Throughout the Bible, God asks many times for mankind to trust in Him implicitly, putting their full trust in His divine being, and points to the folly of trusting in mankind. Even the very centre verse of the Bible and the very verse following, the counsel is given, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” – Psalm 118:8,9
So often one of the greatest battles God has had with His people, is them turning away from His express command of how to truly worship Him, and going after other forms of worship. So often those forms of worship, while inspired by the devil, were conceived and made popular by mankind taking the shape of whatever may strike the imagination, but usually always uncouth and hideous to disgrace humanity.
In all the history of Israel it so often became so infected with false worship and idolatry that God likened them to Sodom and Gomorrah being a harlot, among many other names! By the time we get to the time of Isaiah, the ten tribes of Israel had gone, and God was about to bring the judgment hammer down on Judah and Jerusalem to be humiliated by Assyria and later Babylon. Their worship was a disgrace to God and He gives severe denunciation on His people.
Chapter one opens with Judah and Jerusalem in rebellion and what God thought of their rebellion. He is fed up with their profession of worship. He tells them they are laden with iniquity, the seed of evildoers, a source of corruption and their sacrifices are just a stink to Him. They will be left desolate, their cities will be burnt with fire and the land will be given over to strangers who will devour it in their presence. And Jerusalem will be left as a little shade shack in a field of cucumbers – very humbled. But in all that thunderous reprimand, there is still compassion on God’s part. “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. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” – Isaiah 1:18,19
By the time we get to chapter two, God tries to encourage His people upward to achieve what they could, if they would only respond to His call. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” – Isaiah 2:2-5
Here there is power for Judah and Jerusalem. If they will but welcome their God into their hearts, He will do great and mighty things for them. But again God has to deal with the present. Judah is in no fit state to receive God’s smile of approval.
Lessons for Us: It would do us well to take a leaf out of the counsel here given. Jesus Himself said while in ministry on this earth, “ Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes” – Matthew 21:42
And Paul leaves us in no doubt as to who that corner stone is, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. – Ephesians 2:20
Paul also emphasises who the rock of our salvation is. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
If man continues to stubbornly walk in His own path, following the devising of men, and does not enter into that Rock, Christ Jesus, they will be calling for the rocks of the earth to fall on them. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” – Revelation 6:15-17
God so often called His people to put their trust in Him and turn away from the manmade inventions and imaginations – yes, idols – even in our day. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” – Proverbs 3:5-7
“Let us diligently cultivate the pure principles of the gospel of Christ – the religion, not of self-esteem, but of love, meekness, and lowliness of heart. Then we shall love our brethren, and esteem them better than ourselves. Our minds will not dwell on scandal and lying reports. But ‘whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Doug Hurley