Isaiah 52:4–5: “For thus says the Lord God: / ‘My people went down at first / Into Egypt to dwell there; / Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. / Now therefore, what have I here,’ says the LORD, / ‘That My people are taken away for nothing? / Those who rule over them / Make them wail,’ says the LORD, ‘And My name is blasphemed continually every day.'”

March 13th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

God was reminding His people that they had been taken into slavery before. First when famine forced Jacob and his sons to go down to Egypt, where the Egyptians eventually made them slaves. After 400 years in slavery, the Hebrews cried out to God and He delivered them by the exodus. The second time had been more recent, when God allowed the Assyrians to conquer the 10 northern tribes because of their prolonged disobedience in worshiping idols. And the third time was about to happen, when Babylon conquered Jerusalem. God also reminded them of the foreign nations that had oppressed them in the past, and who had concluded that God was impotent and blasphemed His name. On top of that, God’s people themselves were complaining and blaming God for the mess they had created by their own disobedience.

Believers do the same thing to this day. Through our own folly and sin, we get ourselves into a mess and then we start blaming God, saying, “Why would God allow this to happen to me?” The principle is simple: If we obey God’s spiritual laws, we will be blessed; if we disobey, we will be disciplined. In Isaiah’s day, God’s people had forsaken His ways and they were suffering the repercussions. They were again sent into captivity, to Babylon; and they again blamed God, showing that they had learned nothing from their past slavery.

Bob Dylan sang years ago in his song, “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

If we really believed those were the only two choices, the devil or God, we would all quickly choose to serve God. But many today are convinced they don’t have to serve anyone; they can just do as they please. But the truth is, if we live to serve ourselves, we are in fact, already serving Satan.

“LORD, we choose You; we choose life.”