Saturday, July 5, 2014

The awesome consequences of Neglect

Read Isaiah 20.

In a graphic display, God instructed the prophet to deliver His message.  Assyria would cruelly conquer and humiliate the nations.  With hopes dashed for any regional alliance, Judah would have to stop and take stock  about their future.  There is an evaluative statement and then a question that applies to everyone who ever lived.

1. The statement. (v.6a)
"This is what happens to those who ignore the LORD and put their hope in something else."
In predicting the demise of Cush and Egypt, God declared that they will evaluate what happened to them and why.  There proved to be no one to come alongside them to help.  They put their trust in the wrong place and in the wrong people.  They were sincere but sincerely wrong.

God provided all they needed for forgiveness, restoration and protection.  But His plans were not accepted.  They thought they knew better than God.  Therefore, they suffered the consequences.

2. The question. (v.6b)
"How shall we escape?"
Some will trust that there is no such eternal accountability.  They will not escape eternal punishment.
Some will trust in other beliefs.  They will not escape eternal punishment.
Some will trust in their own good works.  They will not escape eternal punishment.

There are not two answers to that question.  There is only one.  It is not a sectarian belief, but the gracious offer of the living God.  Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

In a different context, the writer of Hebrews included the same question: "For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:2-3)

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