Bears and Doves
1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness. 4 No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. 5 They hatch adders' eggs and weave the spider's web; he who eats of their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth. 6 Their webs will not become clothing,
nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and an act of violence is in their hands. 7 Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; devastation and destruction are in their highways. 8 They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked; whoever treads on them does not know peace.
9 Therefore, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, but behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope along the wall like blind men, we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at midday as in the twilight, among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. 11 All of us growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none, for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 Transgressing and denying the Lord, and turning away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words. 14 And justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter. 15 Yes, truth is lacking; and he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. 16 And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede; then His own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness upheld Him. 17 And He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the coastlands He will make recompense. 19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, for He will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.
20 "And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the Lord.
21 "And as for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the Lord: "My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring's offspring," says the Lord, "from now and forever." NASB
In Judah, sin had run amok. There was no justice. The people were discouraged and down hearted. They had all gotten a little grumpy and growled like bears. They moaned like doves because they saw no way out their plight. Discouragement was the attitude of the day.
Their leaders have led them away from God and righteousness. Have you ever heard the term 'disinformation'? Isaiah said the people of his day were 'trusting in confusion and speaking lies'. Does that not sound a little like disinformation to you?
Today we have the means to distribute information better than any age that has ever existed. So what do we do with this great resource? We dispense lies and confusion. How do you know what to trust? I was reading the paper the other day as I do most days. I was reading about some of the local issues before our state government. Here is the quote from the front page:
“House members have complained that the standards don't reflect both sides of the global warming debate, even though a majority of studies, science organizations and climate scientists say global warming stems largely from man-made sources.”
You probably picked up on the fact that this story has to do with what public schools teach about global warming. The writer of this front page story has obviously made up his or her mind that global warming is a fact and that man is the cause. At least some of the state house members believe there may be more to the story than that.
My point is not that global warming is not taking place, or even that we are not the cause of it. My point is that you cannot trust media to be unbiased and report the news. When I was in Journalism class at St. Albans High School, I was taught that news stories should report the news without a bias. Opinions belong on the opinion page. This author has made up his mind that those house members who want both sides of the issue to be taught are wrong.
Wikipedia is another example. This is a website that purports to be similar to an encyclopedia, but any one can change or submit articles on this website. You cannot trust the media to report facts.
We have become a society that trusts in confusion and speaks lies. How do you know what to believe? How do you know who to trust? Leaders switch sides at the drop of a hat. They say they believe like they think most people want them to believe, but when push comes to shove we have no idea what they stand for and how they will lead after they are elected.
No wonder we get as grumpy as bears, and moan like doves! No wonder that depression is rampant.
“9 Therefore, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, but behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope along the wall like blind men, we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at midday as in the twilight, among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.”
In Isaiah's time, people did not know what or who to trust. Hope was far from them and they were blind to the truth. They groped along the wall like blind men.
But... And it is a BIG BUT! That is not the end of the story for the people of Judah then, and it is not the end of the story for us today.
Verse 15b “Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.”
God does not stand idly by and let things go on like this forever. Eventually, He steps in and calls a halt to the evil. We, the human race, have little to complain about because we, sinful humanity, have brought the problems we face upon ourselves. We have, at the very least, stood by and let these things go. We have not stood up and called one another to account for our dishonesty and selfishness.
God does stand up and He is displeased when we let things go so far wrong in our societies. He expects us to be champions of the right and stand up for the oppressed and rejected in society. He expects us to do our part in promoting goodness and truth. He will hold us accountable.
16 “And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede; then His own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness upheld Him.”
When people let it get so bad, God will intercede and bring salvation. He will stay true to what is good and right and just. Nations fall and rise when God steps in to correct what we have done wrong.
He will not allow us to continue in our unrighteous ways forever. The day of judgment is near when God sees and is displeased with us.
20 " 'And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,' declares the Lord.”
God had sent judges and kings before to correct the wrongs and He would do so again for Judah. The Redeemer would come and deliver them once again from their oppressors.
But God would do more than send a Redeemer for Israel. THE Redeemer is foretold by Isaiah. God has called us, His people, His kingdom, His church, to stand up for what is right and to bring hope and justice to the world. Jesus, the Only Begotten Son, the Christ came to show us the way.
He called us to deny ourselves and to live for Him. We are to call people to be followers of Jesus Christ. He is to be our Lord and Savior. He calls us to Love God with all our hearts, with all that we are. He calls us to put off being led by our own ideas and desires. He calls us to put off the flesh and be led by the Spirit and the Word. God, the Holy Trinity, is to be the center of our being.
He brings us hope and peace and love. He brings us the truth and we must bow to Him as Lord.
We, the church, must take some of the blame for the conditions of our world, our society, today. There is a contemporary Christian song that talks about complaining about the darkness when the problem is a lack of light. We are to be light to the world. We are to bring hope to a dark world, but too often, we are still groping along the wall like blind men, instead of rejoicing because we have the message that God will not leave us. He will stand up for the truth and for right. He will come in His power and His glory to call an end to sin for all eternity.
The church has sat in their pews for too long. We must get up and take the message of Hope that we have received from God and tell it to the world. We are to call the world to return to the Creator of All Things and live for Him, to bring glory to His name.
We are called to declare the Good News of Salvation to the world. We are to call men, women, boys and girls to follow Christ.
If you know the Lord, you have a job to do.
If you are not trusting Him to love you, you need to repent and change the direction of your life. If you are not holding on to the truth that God loves you and He knows what is best for you, you need to reach out to Him and repent of the arrogance to think that you know better than God does what is good for you. God loves you. He is your Lord.
WE must trust Him. It is our choice, to trust Him and follow Him, or to live as if He does not care about mankind, or about you as
The Redeemer has come. It is Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin, lived and died, and rose again from the grave and ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father to reign as Lord of lords and King of kings. This message is for you and for all the world.