Isaiah 1:4 – “Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward.” NJV
Israel had turned from the Lord and He was no longer the central figure in their lives, their nation, their government, or their focus. Isaiah calls them:
- A people laden with iniquity.
They were burdened, encumbered, weighed down, saddled with or loaded with iniquity. It wasn’t just a casual infrequent situation but a “lifestyle” that had developed in the people and the nation. I sometimes wonder if our “casual Christian Theology” and our willingness as a nation to allow laws to be passed that relegate God to the back burner in our nation our government and our lives compares to Isaiah’s description of Israel. I’m afraid I have to say – I Believe It Does! When we allow laws to be passed that devalue human life, especially a life that cannot defend itself or argue for itself such as the unborn, have we not become laden with iniquity? When we have become calloused to sin have we not become laden with iniquity?
- A brood of evildoers.
The imagery of a group of birds hatched at the same time is clear but it goes beyond that to a species, a breed, a group, or a kind that are of the same nature and character. Isaiah calls them a “brood of evildoers.” So this brood is a special group and the whole of their nature is bent toward and focused on evil. It is self-centered to be sure and man-centered without question leaving one to conclude that it is anything but God-centered. Evil is commonplace and the philosophy of “the end justifies the means,” “all is fair in love and war,” or as some in modern politics have argued, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” is paramount in this attitude. Evil is the root, the objective, the vehicle, the tool, the means to accomplish the desired purposes. Does that not fit much of our society today?
- Children who are corrupters!
Those who lack moral integrity, are open to bribery and other dishonest practices, morally depraved, putrid or rotten, contaminated, unclean depicts this group. People who go out of their way to pollute the minds and hearts of others to achieve their purposes or somehow make them feel better about their own sinful ways are pictured here. Is this now what we see especially in politics today? We see it in business, in interpersonal relationships and sadly, at times, in the Church. Is this not prevalent in America today?
- They have forsaken the LORD.
Israel had turned their back on God for their own self-centered purposes. The problem in the Garden of Eden was that Adam and Eve made the choice to fire God as the “Center of their Universe” and install self. That resulted in the fall and that depravity has run rampant in man’s heart from generation to generation. Only through the Blood of Jesus can we be free. Today, I fear that many in our nation have forsaken God and have no doubt that our Government does not honor Him at all. So, this would be a picture applicable to America today as well!
- They have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel.
I don’t believe that I even have to comment here. There is little doubt that if America continues in the direction that we are going for God not to judge us would require Him to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. We are testing the longsuffering character of God and pushing Him to the limit.
- They have turned away backward.
That is a picture of “backsliding” if you will. It is to reverse course and go the opposite direction which is what “repentance” is. Repentance involves doing a 180 degree turn from sin toward God. To turn from God back toward sin and the evil depraved nature, character, and actions of the human spirit is to “backslide.” It is to insult the very Grace of God and demands God’s action. Israel felt His wrath, so I must ask are we in that place today in America? If we are not already there how much further can we go before we are?
My call is for us to “return to the Lord” knowing that if we return to Him with a whole heart He will return to us and receive us into the beloved. It is time for a revival of repentance in America and that must begin with each of us.
May God bless you as you go through your day!