Monday, July 13, 2009

What's On Your Doorposts? - Isaiah 57

"But come here, you sons of a sorcererss,
offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute.
Against whom do you jest?
Against whom do you open your mouth
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of rebellion,
offspring of deceit,
who inflame yourselves among the oaks...
who slaughter the children in the ravines...
and behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your sign....
And you have journeyed to the king....
(vs 3-9 selections)

In chapter 57, God gives an honest charge against the wicked covenant breakers of Israel. Several things are worthy of noting in these first 9 verses.

1) Their terrible title. In verse 3 some scathing names are given to them. "But come here, you sons of a sorceress, offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute." There is nothing nice about sin. Look at what God is says about it through what He says about those who live in it. Sin is sorcery for it is a dealing with the devil. Sin is adultery for it is cheating on the Great Kinsman Redeemer. Sin is prostitution for it is selling ourselves to destruction and utter ruin for the fulfillment of a fleeting lust. "For a drop of pleasure we would drink a sea of wrath." (Thomas Watson).

We are either called by these names or by His name. We are either the sons of sorcerers, the offspring of adulterers and the daughters of prostitues - ie. children of wrath. Or we are the adopted sons and daughters of the Great Triune God and therefore a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God's own possession. Each of us has a name. By nature and by birth, we all begin with the former. But if in repentance and faith we have fled to Christ then He will give us a new name and will write that name in the Lamb's book of life where it can never be blotted out. What name is yours?

2) Their despicable deeds. Not only do they have nasty names but their actions are awful. Three specifics are noted in these verses.

a) They are scoffers - vs 4. "Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth and stick out your tongue?" They jest with God. They stick their tongues out and scoff at their Maker. They strive with God. They laugh at His Word. Foolishly, they fight against omnipotence. Where do we find ourselves this day? Are we railing against God or are we enlisted in His army, fighting His enemies, and using His weaponry? No weapon formed against Him shall ever stand and none that fights for Him will ever be disappointed.

b) They are given over to idolatry - vs 5-8. This sin is rampant among them. So much so that their idols are found everywhere. They are inflamed with them. They slaughter their children for them. They worship trees and rocks. They have idolic shrines on the mountains, in the valleys, by their beds, behind their doors. They can't get enough of them, they must have more of them. Their idolatry is an addiction - and understandably so, for the things of our creation and fancy will never satisfy.

One thing strikes me particularly regarding their idolatry. It is found in verse 8. "And behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your sign." Deuteronomy makes mention of the doorposts of our home as being an important tool in the teaching of our children.

"You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Here is the proper use of the doorposts of our home. Upon it God's law and precious promises should be written that we may ever see His rule over us and care for us. In our every going out and coming in we should find ourselves walking in and through and with the Word of God. But the wicked will not have the Word of God written on their doorposts. No, they will set up their own gods and their own laws as the frame of their lives. Henry writes, "Where the law of God should be written, they set up the remembrance of their idols to show to others how mindful they were of them, and to put their children in mind of them." What's on your doorpost? What "god" rules and reigns in your life?

c) They seek shelter in the seemingly strong things of this world - vs 9. In their time of need, since their idols couldn't help them, they ran to their neighbors. They allied themselves to the gods of this world, to the kings of the nations rather than running to the God who created this world. They flee to men. "They debased themselves by truckling to their heathen neighbors, and depending upon them, when they had a God to go to who is all-sufficient and in covenant with them." (Matthew Henry). Where are we running for shelter this day? To the powers of this world? Do we seek safety in our country, government, family, friends? Or is our ultimate source the safety of the lofty Strong Tower - Jehovah God?

There are doorposts surrounding each of our lives. There are convictions and beliefs that we hold dear and we live our lives within the framework of those things. What title is on your doorpost - sorcerer? adulterer? prostitute? Or sinner saved by grace? What deeds are on your doorpost - scoffer? idolator? worldy ally? Or humble worshipper walking and resting in Christ?

Choose you this day whom you will serve knowing that the choice is carved upon your doorpost for you and all the world to see. As for me and my house we will serve the LORD.

In His glorious grace,

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