The Longsuffering of a Loving God – Isaiah 43:22-28
In this historical setting, we find that the prophet Isaiah was speaking to the people of Judah in reference to their relationship with God. This text of Scripture prophetically spoken some seventy-five plus years earlier finds the people of God living in Babylon during a period of captivity. It had been predetermined by God that Judah would endure seventy years of enslavement under the hands of the Babylonians (Je 29:10, Da 9:2).
This prophecy by Isaiah finds that even during Judah’s period of captivity that God has not forgotten them and was still expressing His genuine concern for His chosen people. In stating His concern God in this text calls attention to Judah’s apparent lack of worship and persistence in sinful activities which were indicative that they in effect seemingly have grown weary of Him.
Their weariness is found in a failure 1) to call upon God (v22), 2) to bring offerings unto God (v23), 3) to honor God with sacrifices (v23), and 4) to lavish God with the best of their possessions (v24). Not only have the people failed to reverence God by coming unto Him they had in effect shown a disdain for Him by continuing to engage in sinful activities which offended God (v24).
Similarly, our society today reflects much of what Judah was living out during the sixth century BC. Although the technology of our present-day greatly exceeds that of centuries past human nature remains essentially the same possessing a great propensity to sin and neglect for the teachings of God. Today we find that our society does not pray (call upon God) unless there is some calamity or issue which cannot be readily resolved. The idea of giving to an “invisible God” is not embraced, oft times by Christian believers. The belief that what one possesses belongs to him/her fails to acknowledge the provision of a gracious God and ultimately His ownership of all.
God called unto His people 1) to review their past history with Him, 2) to discuss the issue that He has with them and 3) if possible, to prove their innocence of the charges He has made against them (v26). Judah’s innocence could not be proved as God had on record that they had continuously embraced the sins of their forefathers and rejected the messengers sent to teach them (v27). Likewise, today we find that our society has continued to indulge in sinful activities, failed to obey the proclamations of His messengers, and rejected the instructions of God’s Word.
As a result of their sinfulness, God allowed the priests of their temple and dignitaries of their nation to be disgraced, others to suffer destruction and finally some to endure scorn at the hands of their enemies (v28). The indignities that came upon the children of God came as a result of continued disobedience. This history lesson serves as a reminder to us that a nation or individuals cannot afford to ignore a righteous and just God without suffering the painful consequences of such action.
Despite Judah’s weariness with God and their failure to continue in a close relationship with Him, the longsuffering of God is displayed in His continued concern for their welfare. Isaiah notes that God has not burdened His people with offerings or wearied them with demands for the presentations of sacrifices (v23). In addition, it is cited that God graciously blots out the transgressions of His chosen ones and remembers their sins no more for His own sake (25). Although God’s chosen children had failed to honor Him, His longsuffering with them is exemplified in an enduring and loving bestowal of mercy and grace.
Even today the longsuffering of a loving God continues to be bestowed upon humanity. God does not readily punish or destroyed one because of his/her sinfulness. God has allowed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on Calvary’s cross that whosoever believes upon Him should not suffer death (the penalty for sin) but have eternal life and fellowship with Him via faith. God desires a lasting relationship with all. For those who have not repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation “NOW” is the best time to do so. For those who have believed in Jesus for their salvation continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of God – never allowing weariness to interfere with your fellowship with God and likeminded believers.