Here is a question every Christian needs to consider for his own life: “Am I being responsive to God’s grace in my life?” The truth is that God’s grace in our life should regularly impact the way we think and act. It should make us thankful to God. It should make us want to please and obey God. It should make us joyful people regardless of circumstances. It should make us tender, gracious and forgiving toward others. This is just a sampling of how we should be responsive to God’s grace.
Sadly, when we look at God’s message through Isaiah, we see that the people of Israel were not responsive to God’s grace. Let me give you one example. Israel’s rebellion against God eventually led to the Babylonian invasion and exile. Israel broke the Mosaic Covenant, and now she would pay the price of a lengthy exile. God’s promise, however, was that one day He would bring down Babylon and restore Israel from her exile. In Isaiah 43:14 God tells Israel that He will bring Babylon down. Using Exodus imagery, God tells Israel that He will crush mighty Babylon in the same way He crushed Pharaoh and Egypt (Isa. 43:16-17). The promise to Israel is that He will bring them a new and second Exodus when Christ returns and brings them into the messianic kingdom. Therefore, He tells them, “18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. 20 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people. 21 “The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise” (43:18-21).
God’s promise is that even though they have brought judgment upon themselves for their rejection of the Lord, He will restore them. Our God is a God of grace, but how did Israel respond? Sadly, it was not with faith or obedience. Isaiah 43:22 tells us, “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.” By His saving grace, one day Israel will call upon the Lord. When that day comes she will become the people of God she should be.
At this point we need to bring this message back to ourselves for application with this question: “Am I being responsive to God’s grace as I should?” May God help us to be tender-hearted people who are thankful to God and gracious to others.
Love, Pastor Tim