Read Isaiah 1-2 at Bible Gateway.
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me.” Isa 1:2
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” Deu 30:19
The LORD calls heaven and earth to witness for Him, that He is the perfect parent: He has instructed His children in the way they should go, He has not only admonished them but also nourished them (Eph 6:4). But even His children rebelled against Him. The LORD is establishing this fact by the testimony of two witnesses.
“Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints.” Isa 1:5
The implication is that the LORD has stricken them and stricken them, in discipline, but they have refused to submit their hearts. He has brought adversary upon adversary upon them, and hardship upon hardship, and removed those adversaries and hardships when they did repent and return, but still they refused to learn. The point of discipline is to correct the way in which the child is going. When the child has closed their heart to correction, discipline becomes a fruitless exercise.
“I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy. I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isa 1:25-26
We see that the LORD will solve His problem of rebellious children — but how?
“For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees which you have desired; and you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen.” Isa 1:29
He causes remorse to come upon them. There cannot be a true change of actions without godly sorrow being produced in the heart (as opposed to worldly sorrow). So how does a parent cause remorse to come upon their rebellious children?
“Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” Isa 1:7
He allowed the consequences of their sins to come upon them and overtake them. He lifted His hand of protection over them. You know, we all have read news stories of how the children of rich or influential parents do not suffer the consequences of their behavior, because Daddy can afford the best lawyers or gives to the reelection campaigns of the right people. Parents often have the ability to protect their children from consequences, and the LORD was no different, up to a point. But when that line had been crossed, the LORD lifted His hand and no longer protected His people from the consequences of their actions.
This is so hard for a parent, to watch their child suffer for their sins. But to allow them to suffer, so that true remorse, godly sorrow which leads to repentance, is produced, is true love. Love does what is best for the child, not what is best for the parent. It might be best for the parent to not see their child suffer — but it is best for the child to suffer, and learn remorse and repentance from that suffering.
One last thing I need to add about rebellion: there is a demonic spirit of rebellion, and where there is the heart attitude of rebellion you can bet that the demonic spirit is behind it somewhere. Eve was led into sin, she did not arrive there on her own. The name of Jesus is far above every other name that is named, including rebellion. We cannot neglect prayer, intercession, fasting, taking authority over the enemy, and calling into existence the things that do not exist by proclaiming the Word of God over our children, when dealing with rebellion. Personal salvation is necessary for our children; their sins that were scarlet must be made white as snow; so our goal in prayer can not be just the removal of rebellion but also the transformed heart by the new birth!
The LORD is faithful, and as we, the parents, repent and return to obedience to all His ways, He will circumcise the hearts of our children (Deu 30:1-6) as He has promised! I have witnessed this with my own eyes and know it is true!
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