“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” – Ecclesiastes 3:4
In the Christian life, there are times for different emotional responses. Go weeping... return with joy for soul winning. Repent so that you can sing in confession. When we mess up the appropriate time and emotion we jeopardize having the smile of God.
In Isaiah, they were facing a daunting invasion. The once bustling streets of Jerusalem are quiet and many sit on their roof tops awaiting a military attack. The air of the city is tense and serious... they know death is imminent. Instead of crying out to God (22:12), they decide to have a party and live it up (22:13). Their reasoning was that they were going to die, might as well have one last good time. For this they were rebuked... they should have repented and asked for God’s intervention.
The invasion spoken of here was that of Sennacherib. Hezekiah, the Godly king received threats that they were going to be destroyed. He personally spread the letter threating destruction before the Lord, and begged God to intervene. You can read his prayer in 2 Kings 19:14-19. One thing Hezekiah prayed was, “Lord bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.” What a powerful prayer!
Unfortunately, we don’t see the same testimony from the people at large. Where Hezekiah had faith in the message delivered by Isaiah, a great many of the people did not have faith, and instead acted foolishly.
God intervened and destroyed the armies of Sennacherib, but the judgment of God was already set in motion for Israel. They would be taken captive by Babylon instead of Assyria some years later. Isaiah predicted this in vs. 17 – “Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.”
Too often people party when they should be praying. People turn to reveling when they should be repenting!
In your life has God been trying to get your attention? Is He calling you to return to Him and mourn over your sin? Has your response been numbing this knowledge by indulging in entertainment? Have you drowned out the conviction of God by force?
If so, repent, and say with David, “search me O God and know my heart...” (Ps 139:23)
Today take some time to evaluate your life, and consider if God has been trying to get your attention to turn back to Him. There is an appropriate time for everything, and maybe today needs to be a day of seeking God’s grace and forgiveness in your life.
Daily Scripture Reading
“Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.”