Who forget My holy mountain,
Who set a table for Fortune,
And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny,
I will destine you for the sword,
And all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
Because I called, but you did not answer;
I spoke, but you did not hear.
And you did evil in My sight
And chose that in which I did not delight.”
—Isaiah 65:11-12 (NASB)
I think the “fire and brimstone” messages throughout the Bible should not be used exclusively to motivate those that repeatedly refuse to respond to God’s call, but to inspire those of us that HAVE responded. Granted, a part of us is glad to escape such consequences, but it should still weigh a great burden upon us as that there are those to whom this will apply.
The path begins with the act of forsaking God personally, then distancing one’s self from His presence (“forget My holy mountain”), and finally by embracing a false, alternative future called “Fortune” and “Destiny”. I can understand the belief that one can make one’s own way in the course of this life, but I’ve never understood how they think that will provide navigation through the next. I think there are people that think that God is but one of several alternatives, and deny the reality that the end of life is so binary as to yield only the end result of being “for Him” or “against Him”. But that’s one of the truths they so desperately need to embrace.
I say “embrace” because it’s not just a case of hearing the message. God points out here “I called, but you did not answer” and “I spoke, but you did not hear”. Knowledge is not enough to save, but putting that knowledge into practice. In the case of the unresponsive, however, their dismissal of God’s Word leads them to do “evil in My sight”, choosing to do “that in which I did not delight”. Choosing not to embrace His will and ways, they pursue their own which lead further away, and ultimately to destruction.
It disturbs me to hold any length of conversation with a fellow Christian I haven’t seen for some time and to realize that nothing in their conversation touches on this subject. Where is the burden for the lost? Where is the concern for those around us that are walking this path? I hope we, too, haven’t embraced the false notion that there are many alternate ways to God and so become unconcerned about which one others are travelling. I fear that we are losing our motivation of concern for those that are clearly moving away from Him, and perhaps ourselves forsaking and forgetting them.†††