We are in Isaiah Chapter 1 and reading of what the circumstances were in Israel when Isaiah was called and raised up to speak out.

Rome was rising at this time, as was the city of Athens.

Why were things so terribly wrong among God’s chosen people?

There was spiritual decline throughout the land. They blamed the Philistines. They blamed the Edomites who kept raiding them from the south. They blamed the Moabites who kept raiding them from the east. The blamed the Syrians who raided the land from the north.

They even blamed God - but they never blamed themselves.

They could not see that God had said to them - "Provided you are obedient - I will keep you safe - I will protect you."

It is God Who holds the balance of power. It is God Who is in control. It is God Who blesses nations or allows them to disappear - and God thinks and judges in spiritual terms.

Very few people see this – very few people aware of this spiritual reality.

The prophets basically said one thing - "The dangers from the outside are due to the disobedience inside." If you are right with God, things will be all right around you.

God sent prophets – Amos and Hosea to the northern Kingdom which was named Israel.

Isaiah and Micah were sent to Judah in the south. The message of Isaiah was profoundly unpopular. Chapters 1 to 39 are mainly about judgment – and from Chapter 40 the main theme is salvation which God brings to His people.

We can apply this to some degree to our own nation today - to our own situations.

Many of the troubles which appear to come to us from the outside are due to disobedience within - not always - we also read of the disciples being persecuted and imprisoned and martyred - but that is a different matter.

There was spiritual rebellion – then, a moral collapse - then, a political collapse - and Isaiah saw all this. Can discerning people not see this today across various parts of our world?

The prophets revealed all this to the people of God - and the people of God did not want to hear.

You know that this type of message is seldom popular - that was also the very real experience of Jesus Christ. But God always has His men who will preach His Holy Word.

Israel didn't listen. God sends Isaiah to Benjamin and Judah in the south - where Jerusalem is the capital - God will have His men deliver His Word to His people.

The responsibility of the people to hear and receive and accept is crucial.

The ten tribes in the north disappeared - Israel had gone.

The people had laughed at the prophets - mocked and ridiculed them. Israel, the chosen people of God, refused to listen to God.

What does God do? God in His mercy and love sends Isaiah to warn those in the south.

Time and time again through, these past 2,000 years, following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has sent men and women with a word which was intended to rescue and save.

The response has not always been positive – the word has not always been welcomed and eagerly received.

As God draws near in His love and grace and mercy – how do you react and respond?

“O loving God – over the centuries You have been so faithful – forgive us – forgive me where I have not welcomed and received all you have offered. Help us at this time – we see those who are lost and lonely and hurting – and Lord Jesus, we know You are the only answer. Help us, Lord Jesus. Amen.”