God Is Not Pleased with the “Righteous” Nation – Isaiah 57:1-13
This passage reveals that God was not pleased with the activities that were occurring in the nation of Judah. The children of God had forsaken righteousness and God chose to express His displeasure via words spoken by His prophet, Isaiah. Since the attributes and character of God do not change, one can reasonably conclude that any conduct corresponding to that of Judah’s unrighteous behavior continues to displease God regardless of one’s nation and the time in which he/she lives.
The opening verses of this chapter reveal that the righteous citizens are perishing, but no one seems to care. The devout (the upright) is taken away and yet no thought is given regarding their untimely death. Undoubtedly, the nation of Judah displayed great neglect for its righteous citizens, but the good news is that God allowed the righteous to enter a state of eternal rest and peace.
As the words of the prophet began to focus upon the nation called to be righteous, one finds unrighteous individuals raising themselves up against others. These citizens are declared to be rebellious and deceived with falsehoods. Others are pictured as living luxuriously, while they allow the young, impoverished, and/or disenfranchised to suffer demise. Although offerings are made unto false gods (idols) by the unrighteous citizens, they are reminded that God will not relent in His call for "righteous living." The Word of God continues to chastise the unrighteous for their 1) separation from Him, 2) adulterous conduct, and 3) unrelenting liaison with ungodly leadership.
In the closing verses of this passage, God declares that He had pleaded with the unrighteous citizens for an extended period, but they chose to embrace lies and non-remembrance of Him. As a result, the "surmised righteousness" of this self-deceived group and their objects of worship were proclaimed to be worthless and of no benefit. Finally, God declares that "only those" who place their trust in Him shall inherit the nation and possess His holy estate.
Today, the United States of America has often proclaimed itself to be the “righteous” nation of the world. The proclamation of such does not make a nation righteous. However, God has called for the citizens of all nations to live righteously before Him. Let us lay aside all falsehoods, deceptions, and ungodly conduct as we embrace the Truth of the Holy and Almighty God.