No Hypocrisy Please!
Heavenly Father, I thank You today for the wonderful and unmatched gift of Your Son, Jesus, who was given for me.
Read Isaiah 48:1-11
 “Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel- but not in truth or righteousness-  you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and claim to rely on the God of Israel- the LORD Almighty is his name:  I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.  For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze.  Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’  You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? “From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.  They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’  You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.  For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.  See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the prevailing theme running through this passage?
The focus now shifts from Babylon to God’s own people held in captivity there. They are not being true to their calling and identity as God’s people. They are claiming that they rely on God and yet they have little to show for it. God accuses them of hypocrisy. God has revealed so much to them, but they are now claiming it as their own knowledge (5,7). They have shifted their focus away from God completely. It is as if he does not exist. After all that God has done for them and taught them, they now ignore him. God reveals the purpose of their captivity to them. He is refining them in the fire of affliction (10). However, they do not seem to be learning much. God shows that their purpose is to honor his name, not bring it into disrepute (11). When the focus falls on us and our own cleverness, then we take glory away from God and dishonor him. It is an awesome challenge for the church to constantly and consistently bring glory to God.
Ask God to open your heart today to understand how you are enticed by the subtle sin of hypocrisy. Learn a lesson from the exiles.
Lord, my heart’s desire is to live effectively as a citizen of Your Kingdom, wherever You have placed me.