We humans love to talk. For most of us, that’s a problem. Apart from the sanctifying work of Christ, we’re all like the hypocrites of whom Jesus said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7:6).
This morning I started Isaiah. As I made my way through the first Chapter, I was struck by God’s sheer distaste for empty professors of the faith. He says things like:
- What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
- I have had enough
- Bring no more vain offerings … I cannot endure
- My soul hates
- I am weary
- I will not listen
It’s so much nicer to imagine that God is love. But a God who tells His people, “Your trying my patience, and I’ve about had enough” — now that is something we need to pay attention to.
The lyrics to Eliza Doolittle’s, “Show Me” from the musical, “My Fair Lady” come to mind.
Words, words, words!
I’m so sick of words
I get words all day through
First from him, now from you
Is that all you blighters can do?
Don’t talk of stars, burning above
If you’re in love, show me!
Tell me no dreams, filled with desire
If you’re on fire, show me!
Sing me no song, read me no rhyme
Don’t waste my time, show me!
Don’t talk of June, don’t talk of fall
Don’t talk at all!
Never do I ever want to hear another word
There isn’t one, I haven’t heard
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream
Say one more word and I’ll scream
Haven’t your arms, hungered for mine?
Please don’t “expline”, show me, show me!
Don’t wait until wrinkles and lines
Pop out all over my brow, show me now!
Eliza is not interested in words. And neither is God. What are empty words and platitudes if our hearts are not moved by affection to act? In our profession of Christ, do we forget that God is a personal, living being who engages with His creation? Isn’t that what Jesus did? He reconciled us to God by his death so that we may have unbroken fellowship with God Almighty? God is not a robot! He has a mind, emotions, and a will. How then must He feel when daily we rebuff His invitations to “come away” with Him? Or when we chose to preoccupy our minds with worldly trifles rather than take the time to seek Him in His Word? We Christians, if not checked, can presume quite a bit upon the living God. But if we truly love Him, we will stop talking, and start showing!
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
(Isaiah 1:18-20 ESV)