Summary: Isaiah one gives us a warning of the outcome of rebelling against God, but also a promise of his grace to repentant rebels.

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We have two new babies in our corps, Moses and Eddy. When a baby is first born will go to anyone, but soon knows who its mummy is, and just wants her! Will start to cry if held by a stranger. Young children find safety and security in their parents and familiar people, want to be with them, afraid if anyone else comes near. Totally dependent on them.

But as children grow up they gradually become more independent, become able to feed themselves, dress themselves, wash themselves and eventually become adults in their own right.

However naughtiness, disobedience and rebellion is a part of childhood for all children. Start disobeying parents, first in small things then gradually increases. Some even end up rejecting their parents completely, and everything they stand for. But even when being disobedient, still recognise parents, hear them shout their name when being naughty. Hope to not get discovered in their naughtiness, or deny it because, deep down, they care about their parents reactions to their behaviour. However we have all known situations were the rebellion against parents has reached such a state that children no longer care about their reactions.

In the passage we have just read God talks as having given birth to his people, just like a mother gives birth to her children. He nourished them and reared them, carefully cared for them, supplied their needs, loved them. He talks of his people’s rebellion, their deliberate disobedience, their deliberate rejection of him, just like a parent with a disobedient child they caused him heartache. But then came the difference. They had gone so far from him that they didn’t know him anymore, they did not recognise his voice.

If anyone has animals will know how quickly they get to know you. Dogs and cats come at your call. My Guinea pig, Raylton, squeaks and comes to side of cage to see me when I come in (probably hoping for a piece of carrot or cucumber!). He does not do the same with strangers. Both children and pets are similar in this! But God’s people had gone so far away that they were not even like dogs, recognising their master’s voice, or Raylton knowing who is likely to be giving him carrots.

What a warning! We can remove ourselves so far from our Father God that we no longer recognise him, we no longer here him speak, in fact we get to the situation were we no longer even care about him, or the heartache that we are causing him. That is a sad and desperate situation to be in. Not able to respond to the God who is the source of our life. Without hope, without Christ, lost and isolated on the sea of life. Not able to, and indeed having no inclination to, seek out our Heavenly Father.

In human families such a sad state of affairs, although it does occur, is thankfully rare. But in our relationship with our Father God it is far from rare. Indeed the teaching of Scripture is that we are all, by nature, in this situation. We are all naturally in a place where we are not able to respond to him or come to him by our own efforts. Ephesians 2:11-12 talks of this (read).

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