Isaiah: Striving Less and Trusting God

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Passionate Commitment

Isaiah is a book of the Bible written more than twenty-seven hundred years ago by a man who obeyed God’s call to be His prophet, God’s mouthpiece to His people. Isaiah spoke to his original audience regarding current events, but also prophesied happenings that have since been fulfilled, like the birth of the Messiah, and some that have yet to come to fruition as they speak of the future return of Christ.

Read Isaiah 1:1-5.

The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Isaiah’s father Amoz, but some commentators suggest that Isaiah was connected to royalty because of his easy access to the kings mentioned here.1 Others suggest that the Jewish tradition of Isaiah’s royal birth is completely without merit.2 While we want to get to know Isaiah, we’ll need to be patient as his first vision tells us more about his people, the Judeans, than it tells us about his person.

Did you notice how Isaiah summoned the heavens and earth to listen to God’s rebuke (v. 2)? And he used a comparison to donkeys and oxen to illustrate the nation’s ingratitude toward God compared with how these animals trust and obey their masters (v. 3).

Read Isaiah 1:6-15.

The word hypocrisy came to mind as I read these verses. It wasn’t the use but the abuse of spiritual practices that brought such a strong reaction from God. The people were going through the motions of spiritual worship without a personal connection to the Lord and His laws. God called out the contradiction in their lives of uniting spiritual practices with unrepentant sin. In God’s words, they lifted their hands in prayer, but those same hands were “covered with blood” (Isa. 1:15, CSB). God invites His people into relationship, and He expects repentance and obedience to follow.

Don’t worry, we don’t have to leave our first day of study on this heavy, somber note! We’re just getting to the best part.

Read Isaiah 1:16-17.

If God had hope for the stubborn, rebellious people of Judah, we know there is hope for us as well! No matter how far we’ve sunk in our depravity and sin, God remains committed to us, and He invites us to turn from our sin and turn toward Him. Only with repentant hearts are we able to live as the people God created us to be—those who love Him and love others.