ESOCS Devotional 31 August 2023 – Two Separate Choices
MEMORY VERSE: ““But it will be different for you that forsake me…. And so I tell you that those who worship me and obey will have plenty to eat and drink, but you will be hungry and thirsty. They will be happy, but you will be disgraced. They will sing for joy, but you will cry with a broken heart.” Isaiah 65:11-13 – GNB
TEXT: ISAIAH 65:1-16 (KJV)
I was [ready to be] inquired of by those who asked not; I was [ready to be] found by those who sought Me not. I said, Here I am, here I am [says I Am] to a nation [Israel] that has not called on My name.
2 I have spread out My hands all the day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts—
3 A people who provoke Me to My face continually, sacrificing [to idols] in gardens and burning incense upon bricks [instead of at God’s prescribed altar];
4 Who sit among the graves [trying to talk with the dead] and lodge among the secret places [or caves where familiar spirits were thought to dwell]; who eat swine’s flesh, and the broth of abominable and loathsome things is in their vessels;
5 Who say, Keep to yourself; do not come near me, for I am set apart from you [and lest I sanctify you]! These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.
6 Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence but will repay; yes, I will repay into their bosom
7 Both your own iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers, says the Lord. Because they too burned incense upon the mountains and reviled and blasphemed Me upon the hills, therefore will I measure and stretch out their former doings into their own bosom.
8 Thus says the Lord: As the juice [of the grape] is found in the cluster, and one says, Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it, so will I do for My servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all.
9 And I will bring forth an offspring from Jacob, and from Judah an inheritor of My mountains; My chosen and elect will inherit it, and My servants will dwell there.
10 And [the plain of] Sharon shall be a pasture and fold for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for My people who seek Me, inquire of Me, andrequire Me [by right of their necessity and by right of My invitation].
11 But you who forsake the Lord, who forget and ignore My holy Mount [Zion], who prepare a table for Gad [the Babylonian god of fortune] and who furnish mixed drinks for Meni [the god of destiny]—
12 I will destine you [says the Lord] for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen or obey. But you did what was evil in My eyes, and you chose that in which I did not delight.
13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame.
14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry out for pain andsorrow of heart and shall wail and howl for anguish, vexation, and breaking of spirit.
15 And you will leave your name to My chosen [to those who will use it] for a curse; and the Lord God will slay you, but He will call His servants by another name [as much greater than the former name as the name Israel was greater than the name Jacob].
16 So [it shall be] that he who invokes a blessing on himself in the land shall do so by saying, May the God of truth and fidelity [the Amen] bless me; and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth and faithfulness to His promises [the Amen], because the former troubles are forgotten and because they are hidden from My eyes.
The story would be much better and different if we relate with God in complete and prompt obedience. People who refuse to hear Him or fail to live godly lifestyle simply walk themselves into trouble. He is often angry when people are stubborn or deliberately embrace worldliness and the pleasures of sin. For such people, He says, “…for when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you wouldn’t listen. You deliberately sinned before my very eyes, choosing to do what you know I despise” (v 12b TLB). Therefore, “I will destine you to the sword. All of you will bow before the executioner” (v 12a NLT).
Many people take the word of God very lightly and undermine the seriousness of such offence. Many brush it aside if it does suit their convenience. For many, it has become so commonplace that they completely ignore and slight the weight behind it; and the power and authority of the One who owns it. Many others close their ears against the Holy Spirit when He tries to lead them to do what is right.
It is not right! We cannot continue to live such a lifestyle that does not please our heavenly Father. No parent would be happy to have disobedient children. He or she would not be happy with them; and would not be pleased to give them gifts. People who are disobedient to God close the doors and windows of heaven against themselves. But for those who obey Him, they are those who show that they love Him; and the scripture says, “…No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right” (Ps. 84:11b).
People who live a life of disobedience to the word of God invite disaster and the perils of life to themselves. They would live a life of struggle, strain, and hardship. While other people would have plenty to eat and drink, they would be hungry and thirsty. They would be disgraced while those who are obedient would happy. They would always cry with a broken heart while those who obey the Lord will sing for joy.
Obedience and disobedience are two separate and different choices. It is entirely left to us to make our choice; and make the right one too. We cannot make both choices; it would only make us lukewarm Christians, which the Lord hates (Rev. 3:16).
- Reflect on your entire life and see if you ever made the right choice.
- What value do you attach to your relationship with your heavenly Father?
- Pray to God to give you an obedient heart.
- Pray the Holy Spirit to guide you continually in the choices you make in life.
Thank you for reading the ESOCS Devotional today. Please share and follow us on all our platforms to contribute to the spread of the Gospel.
ESOCS Devotional 31 August 2023