I read this this morning. It fits the time we live in. Whew. Read of the intense feelings the Father has toward His wayward children. My thoughts are in italics.
The vision of Yeshayahu son of Amots, which he saw concerning Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim in the days of Uzziyahu, Yotham, Aḥaz, Ḥizqiyahu – sovereigns of Yehuḏah.
Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth! For יהוה has spoken, “I have reared and brought up children, but they have transgressed against Me. (it even happens to the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE?!)
An ox knows its owner and a donkey its master’s crib – Yisra’ĕl does not know, My people have not understood.”
Alas, sinning nation, a people loaded with crookedness, a seed of evil-doers, sons acting corruptly! They have forsaken יהוה, they have provoked the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, they went backward. (can you see how this is true of our nation? Heartbreaking!)
Why should you be beaten any more? You continue in apostasy! All the head is sick, and all the heart faints. From the sole of the foot, to the head, there is no soundness in it – wounds and bruises and open sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.
Your land is laid waste, your cities are burned with fire, strangers devour your land in your presence. And it is laid waste, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Tsiyon is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
Unless יהוה of hosts had left to us a small remnant, we would have become like Seḏom, we would have been made like Amorah. (have mercy, YHWH!)
Hear the word of יהוה, you rulers of Seḏom; give ear to the Torah of our Elohim, you people of Amorah! (here is what Yah has to say to those who do wickedly and yet try to please Him too)
“Of what use to Me are your many slaughterings?” declares יהוה. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courtyards? Stop bringing futile offerings, incense, it is an abomination to Me. New Moons, Sabbaths, the calling of meetings – I am unable to bear unrighteousness and assembly. My being hates your New Moons and your appointed times, they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread out your hands, I hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I do not hear. Your hands have become filled with blood.” (Those are some strong words! *hate* *abomination*)
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! Learn to do good! (and what does doing good look like? Keep reading)
- Seek right-ruling
- Reprove the oppressor
- Defend the fatherless
- Lead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. (A simple list of what things He desires of His people)
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword,” for the mouth of יהוה has spoken. (There’s that enormous two letter word “if” again)
How the steadfast city has become a whore! I have filled it with right-ruling; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers.
Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water. Your rulers are stubborn, and companions of thieves. Everyone loves bribes, and runs after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow reach them. (It seems the orphans and widows are very important to Him!)
Therefore the Master declares, יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “Ah, I shall be eased of My adversaries, and I shall be avenged of My enemies. And I shall turn My hand against you, and shall refine your dross as with lye, and shall remove all your alloy. And I shall give back your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning. After this you shall be called the city of righteousness, a steadfast city.”
Tsiyon shall be redeemed with right-ruling, and her returning ones with righteousness. And the destruction of transgressors (of Torah) and of sinners is together, and those who forsake יהוה shall be consumed. (in order to forsake Him, wouldn’t one have to first be together with them?)
For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees which you have desired. And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen. For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, and as a garden that has no water. The strong shall be for tow, and his work for a spark. And both shall burn together, with no one to extinguish.