Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with oil.
7 Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
8 The Daughter of Zion is left
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a field of melons,
like a city under siege.
9 Unless the LORD Almighty
had left us some survivors,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.
The “Why” of Rebuke
So we are continuing our look at the rebuke of Isaiah – last time, we saw that the character of God during rebuke was one of a father, a father who cared and had even nursed his children. Here, we come to the centerpiece of what rebuke is all about:
God rebukes us because we need it.
Here we see why God sent Isaiah – not to just yell at them and make them feel bad about their national identity. God sends Isaiah to Israel because their lifestyle has made them broken and wounded and afflicted. God rebukes Israel because he wants them to be whole, but they persist in destroying themselves. In essence, a rebuke from God can be retranslated and simplified as thus: “Stop hurting yourself!!”
Last week, Sophia tried to run out into the street by herself. I barked out, “SOPHIA, STOP!” loudly. She had a frightened look on her face, and I could see that her feelings were hurt. She was upset at me, and didn’t think she deserved to be yelled at. But if I hadn’t responded in that way, she might have thought that running into the street just wasn’t a big deal, and would do it again. And if she got killed by a passing car, I would have regretted to the bottom of my being not yelling as loudly as my body would allow.
This is rebuke: God yelling out at us, “STOP! Stop hurting yourself! Stop running into the street! You’re going to get yourself killed, and break my heart!” Yes, that rebuke may hurt our feelings. We may feel like we don’t deserve such treatment. But we can trust that the louder God yells, the greater the danger we were heading for.
– Has there ever been a time where you didn’t heed someone’s warning or rebuke…and regretted not listening to them more closely?
– When do you think God rebuked you the most heavily? Why was that issue so important to him?