Day 1: December 18
Title: The Only Course of Safety
Scripture: Isaiah 58:1-3a
“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 1149
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Though they are called the people of God, the house of Jacob, though they profess to be linked with God in obedience and fellowship, they are far from Him. Wonderful privileges and promises have been given to them, but they have betrayed their trust. With no words of flattery must the message be given them. “Show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Show them where they are making a mistake. Set their danger before them. Tell them of the sins they are committing, while at the same time they pride themselves on their righteousness. Apparently seeking God, they are forgetting Him, forgetting that He is a God of love and compassion, long suffering and goodness, dealing justly and loving mercy. Worldly policy has come into their business and religious life. Their hearts are not purified through the truth. God looks on their outward ceremonies of humility as a solemn mockery. He regards all religious sham as an insult to Himself.
The people of whom the prophet spoke made a high profession of piety, and pointed to their fasting and to other external forms as an evidence of their piety. But their deeds were tainted by the leprosy of selfishness and covetousness. They had nothing except that which they had first received from God. He bestowed His goods on them that they might be His helping hand, doing what Christ would do were He in their place, giving a true representation of the principles of heaven (Letter 76, 1902)
Heart Challenge and Discussion Questions:
God speaks loudly and directly. His people need to hear their transgression but will they hear?
- Why do our prayers go unanswered?
- Are you daily seeking God and delighting to know His ways? Do you delight in approaching God?
- Why are the people of God, the house of Jacob, far from Him?
- Reflect on the scriptures and passages. What do these tell you? What stands out the most to you? What message pierces your heart?
- Describe the condition of God’s professed people and the task entrusted to the faithful remnant. Isaiah 58:1, 2.
- What impact does today’s reading have on your life today? How does it change the way you prioritize your day / your plans? How does it change the way you pray?
No matter where you are at today, take heart and believe His promise. Will you seek God and delight to know His ways today? Will you reach out to someone today and share your testimony of how God is changing your life?
- Pray for your personal revival, today and every day.
- Pray for a deeper humility and repentance in your life.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will truly lead each aspect of the program at the GYC Conference and that many prayers will be lifted up among us, including confessions, humility, reconciliations, selfless service, and focus on mission, for all in attendance.