Posted by: dvdbrumley | January 20, 2009

Who is in Your Life? Reflections from a Study of Isaiah

As one begins to read the book of Isaiah, they are introduced to a story of God’s patience being tested to the breaking point. Fed up with the people of Judah, God has made the decision to allow foreign men into their country and to utterly destroy (minus a remnant, Isaiah 10 & 11) the people of Judah in a hope that they would some day return to Him. This is a decision that had to have troubled God and Isaiah was his messenger to Ahaz, the king of Judah. God sent Isaiah to Ahaz to tell him that yes, hell was coming, but that everything would be fine. At this point, God finds (as if he didn’t already know) that Ahaz’s trust in God was in word and not need (see Isaiah 7). This refusal of Ahaz to accept the peace that God was attempting to bestow sent God’s wrath to a different level and a subsequent worsening of the pain that God was going to allow to be put upon the people of Judah.
As the study of Isaiah goes further we learn that God promises a redeemer to not only the people of Judah, but to all. That redeemer is of course Jesus Christ and no book in the Bible more succinctly sets the table for Christ’s coming than Isaiah. Praise God.
There are other, less important lessons in this story of Ahaz found in the first part of the book of Isaiah. One of these is one that when I presented it to my Sunday School class of brilliant young adults was debated heavily. That lesson is that when we don’t trust God with all aspects of our lives, no matter how small or important it seems to us, that His protection (a.k.a. Christ’s intercession for Christians) is lowered from around us and people are allowed into our lives, homes, and affairs that will rip us apart given the chance. Just as God’s lowering of protection from around Judah allowed the Assyrians and Syrians to come in and destroy their nation, the same applies to our lives today. When we refuse to trust God with our total care He will remind us that we should (if we’re lucky).
No more so can this be applied than to the recent financial crisis in our nation. If this hits you wrong, then I am sorry but sometimes we need to be reminded of what our lack of faith is doing to our lives. That being said, if you have/are investing money in the stock market, 401Ks, or other elaborate investments in which you say, here, take my money, do as you please (good or evil) with it for now, and then let me reap the benefits of it later, then you are showing a lack of trust in God and you need to examine your faith (as I do as well). You are essentially saying “God, I know you told me you would care for me but I better follow what the world tells me to do on this one so I can have a happy retirement and send my kids to college.” That doesn’t sound like trust to me.
We Christians so eagerly and happily hand over differing percentages of our monthly incomes to stock brokers who do God knows what with your money. We fund debauchery!!! When is the last time you checked the faith of the owners of your company that you contribute to keep afloat and get richer. Think for a second about your financial advisers. Have they ever offered to discuss the gospel with you? Have you ever followed up with what foundations, causes, or religious efforts the companies you invest in support? I don’t know a great many stock brokers but from what I’ve seen in their depictions in movies, they aren’t the best people in the world. What are you saying to God when you trust someone like that more than Him regarding your financial future? What are you saying to God when you contribute more to a company that is pro-choice (as if you’ve even checked) than to your church contribution? Need we be reminded that Job rued the day he was born when God lowered his protection from around him?
I am inspired to write this as men close to me have lost millions in recent months. These are holy and good men and when you hear them discuss their losses they do so with a undertone of regret that they may have forgotten what was important. These people that God allowed into their lives have now caused them pain, worry, and heartache and it saddens me to see it. I think to Matthew 25 and I see men’s hidden money being spread out to those who already have more than they can count. How sad.
I urge all who read this to evaluate your finances and investments and look at who you are giving your money to. Is it not an idol set up to the god of success and wealth? If not then God bless you for being a good steward of his gifts. If so, look to Jesus’ words in the gospel and find in your heart what he expects us wretched sinners to do with the gifts he allows us to receive. Do it before God lowers his protection more. Avoid prosperity gospel and remember that God doesn’t want you to be happy financially, He wants you to be happy spiritually. God bless you.

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