I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. … … My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.Isaiah 48:3, 13
God, the LORD, is pleading with his chosen people, Israel, through his prophet, Isaiah. Their fundamental problem, after seven centuries in the ‘Promised Land’, was their allowing the prevailing culture/worldview to influence their thinking. They were God’s Chosen People, and their worldview/culture was to be distinctive, to have God, the LORD, as its source and focus. They had been solemnly warned by God through Moses about the danger of allowing this drift to happen (cf. e.g. Deuteronomy 20:16-18).
There is really no excuse for their persistent stubbornness and refusal to respond to the LORD’s pleading with them to turn from the ways of Man and to embrace his ways and all the blessings that would flow from obedience to him. The two main ‘proofs’ on which God’s case is built are the evidence of Creation itself, and the evidence of the reliability of his Word through the fulfilment of predictive prophecy.
This very same evidence is just as valid today, and it calls Modern Man to face up to God’s claims and submit to him (cf. Romans 1:19-20; John 19:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; etc). Moreover, WE are confronted with a third and even more powerful ‘proof’ – the evidence of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (cf. John 14:11; Acts 17:31). Could God have a strong case against the average Australian who sees and hears the evidence for the Gospel but continues to ignore it? Are WE failing in our responsibility to speak up about these things, or even to embrace a consistent Biblical worldview? The influence of the prevailing culture on Israel’s thinking was so subtle, gradual and insidious that they were mostly unaware of what was happening until it was too late and the damage was done, and I fear that the Church (God’s Redeemed People) is in the same danger today.