Apr. 15, 2019

Measuring Up

“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.” Isaiah 10:1-4

As I continue to re-read the Book of Isaiah, I noticed something for the first time. Isaiah continually repeats the phrase, “His hand is still upraised.” In more modern versions, it says, “his fist is still raised up.” Uh-oh. I think God is mad.

In the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah is prophesizing to the rebellious nation of Israel. But, as with any other prophecy, I believe there is a lasting message for us. The Old Testament is full of history and lessons to be learned. God is not willing to allow His people to mock Him or misrepresent Him. He holds His children to a higher standard. When we try to compare ourselves to others and say, ‘I’m not that bad,” or “Look at so-and-so. I’m better than them.” God shakes His head. We, His children, aren’t to compare ourselves to one another or to those who have not yet received Christ as Savior. We should hold Jesus as our plumb line. That’s where the comparison is made. Are we upholding His holiness? If not, get ready. He will raise His hand and make a fist!

“Thus, He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. The LORD said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people <Israel*> I will spare them no longer.’” Amos 7:7-8

*NOTE: God’s people were defined in the Old Testament as the nation of Israel. New Testament teaching clarifies that, under the New Covenant (Christ), those who choose to follow Him become the children of God. (See John 1:12)