Google+ 02/11/13 Guilt by Association!

Isaiah 33:1-4


Woe to you, destroyer, you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer, you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed;
When you stop betraying, you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;  we long for you.
Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;  when you rise up, the nations scatter.
Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;  like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.


Today's Scripture is referred to by Biblical historians as Isaiah's final "Woe!"  Isaiah is a book filled with prophecy.  Isaiah is also a book full of warnings that should have been heeded in Isaiah's time, and really should be listened to today.  Many think that Isaiah was only speaking about the upcoming Assyrian invasion, but this passage of Scripture goes far beyond that one instance.  Isaiah is also warning about the ultimate devastation in the final days.  The one that is to "stop destroying" is a reference to the antichrist and his "country club" of believers.  Isaiah's reference in our Scripture today  when he says, "Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you" is pointed toward the time of Tribulation, described in great detail in the book of Revelation.   Finally, Isaiah pleads with God to be "our salvation and strength" in the morning and during times of great trial.   I am sure that many who read this passage dismiss it as being more of "that Old Testament stuff," which doesn't apply to us, because Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  This way of thinking, which is prevalent amongst many groups of "New Testament Christians," will be the downfall of many people who claim they know both Jesus and the Scripture.  As I have mentioned before, Jesus did change some things when He arrived here on earth.  On the other hand, if God, through His Son Jesus Christ, did not specifically change "the law and the prophets," then don't ignore what they said.  Israel and Judah did. Look what happened to them!  Do you want to walk the path of being "God's chosen race" and end up shaking your finger in the face of God and explain how disobedient you are going to be?  The answer to this question in "Christian" circles would be "NO," but the actions from those same "Christians" would say "YES."  When Isaiah is talking to Israel, he is using words like, "plunder, betrayal, and destruction."  Why?  Because the "chosen race" wasn't listening, just like the "chosen race" today.  They were continuing their open blaspheme to God in all of their actions.  How did they justify it and still say they believed in God?  They looked at each other and proclaimed "I'm Ok, You're OK" and they weren't even in the 70's yet!  They rationalized their hedonistic and disobedient behavior by comparing themselves to each other.  If you ever wondered how churches become "country clubs," we just got our answer from Isaiah.  All you have to do is simply stop comparing ourselves to God and using Him and His Son Jesus Christ as our example, and be comfortable with imitating each other and our sinful behaviors.  Have you ever noticed that the "country club set" all goes the same places, eats the same food, dresses alike, drives the same cars, plays the same "games," and uses the same "buzz words" in conversation?  That is what Isaiah is warning everyone about in our Scripture.  This behavior makes "prime real estate" for the antichrist to move it and set up shop.  Don't let it happen.  If you do, you too will be destroyed on judgment day.  Be the one who "waits" for Jesus' arrival, while you genuinely work for the Kingdom.  Don't be deceived by the great deceiver and the people who gather together to "play church" and in turn, blaspheme God.  Blaming someone else for your sinful behaviors simply aligns you with other like sinners!  The Bible is clear.  There is "Guilt by Association" and the "country club members" will not save you from the "fiery pit."  Only Jesus can do that!