Spiritual decline is a tragic thing. God intends for us to live fruitful lives, and it grieves His heart when we don’t (Ephesians 4:30). In this passage, and in the first 5 chapters of Isaiah, the spiritual decline of Israel is well-documented. As you read this about Israel, or consider times of decline in your own life, a question is begged: “How did I get to this place?”
The people of Israel were the apple of the Lord’s eye. He pursued them; He sent them kings, judges, priests, and prophets; He gave them His Word; He led them to a land flowing with milk and honey… and so much more. How did they get to this place? The same way we do. Here are a few things that I see as I study Isaiah and look deeply into my own life:
1) Complacency. This happens when we don’t count every day as a gift of God’s grace. It sets in when we forget the Giver of every good gift.
2) Idolatry. We start to treasure something with inappropriate amounts of affection, and they begin to take the rightful place of God in our hearts.
3) Jealousy. I see someone else’s life and I start to lust after it. Maybe it’s their job, or their home. Or whatever I see on social media as their perfectly-polished family is put on display. For Israel, it was in seeing the success of other countries or the nice things available in other places.
4) Comfort. No one wants to take the tougher road. Following the Lord can be very inconvenient for us when we long for comfortable and easy. Israel fell prey to this, even after being freed from captivity when they complained that they had it better in Egypt.
Which of these do you see present in Isaiah 5 as the spiritual decline of Israel is laid out for us? And if you’d be willing to share, which is most prevalent in your life? Let us know in the comments section below, and let us encourage one another to treasure Jesus above anything and everything else.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor