Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Call to Repentence: Isaiah 58:1

This is a message that God feels with such passion, that He says “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” We are to ‘hold nothing back’ as we declare this message. Surely this means we are to speak with the Lord’s urgency, passion and emotion expressed, even if this conveys some of His holy anger, remembering that everything He says and does to and for His people is motivated and couched in His infinite and immutable love. May His love in us be the sole motivation in our hearts as we give and receive this message. The Lord says, “Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.” Seldom, if at all, in all His instructions to the prophets, have I seen such urgency and passion in God’s heart. As full of God’s love as we should always be, this is a stern rebuke and an urgent wake up call to God’s people, for the Lord says, “Raise your voice like a trumpet”:

Sibs Sibanda (now based at God First Church in South Africa) puts it so well, “The word ‘trumpet’ is the word ‘shofah’ in Hebrew, which is a ram’s horn. This is a call to attention, not a strike up of music or celebration. The sound of a ram’s horn is ok when it is far away, but when it is right next to you, it can be a loud and irritating sound. As Champions the Lord’s word to us is not to expect this voice to be sweet to men’s ears. We should not go out expecting to receive warm embrace, because this is not a call to celebration, it is a call to repentance. Our message will be embraced, but through hardship and trial.”

Sibs goes on to say, “ ‘Declare to my people their rebellion…’ This is a message primarily for the Church. Rebellion is a direct result of an inflated self-view or self-opinion. In other words it is essentially born out of self-centredness or selfishness. Not many in the church today would relate to being called a rebellious or selfish people. This is why this message will be like a ram’s horn, irritating and annoying, because no one wants to be told that they are rebellious. We must thus see God as He truly is, because unless we do, none of these things will come together.”

No comments: