Day 38 — What did God do wrong?

“Listen and take note, from the farthest reaches to the nearest! Listen up heaven and earth, for the Eternal One has spoken. He is not happy with the children He raised.

Eternal One: Despite all I’ve done, My children have rebelled against Me. Oxen know their owners; even donkeys know where their master feeds them, But Israel is ignorant. My very own, they ignore Me. Truly this is a wicked nation, a people fat with wrongdoing, Like a litter of miscreants, a pack of wilding adolescents. They’ve rejected the Eternal, despised the Holy One of Israel; they’ve turned their backs on Him.” (Isaiah 1:2–4, The Voice)

When reading the Bible, we must always be aware of the immediate context as well as the eternal message. The fact that the nation of Israel is mentioned in this passage (immediate context written 700 years before the birth of Christ) makes it easy for us to miss the message to all God’s people for all times.

Today I want us to notice the imagery of God as a loving, faithful parent grieving over the rebelliousness of His children.

We live in a culture that loves to make excuses for the behavior of children by blaming it on their parents. Certainly, cases of dreadful parenting abound, but this passage begs the question “If rebellious children are always the result of bad parenting, what did God do wrong?”

If the perfect parent (He is, after all, GOD) has imperfect children, who are we to believe that good parenting gets the credit and bad parenting gets the blame?

Bottom line: everyone makes choices. The best parents can do is inform and influence. So maybe we should extend some grace to some parents (including ourselves) and do more praying and less criticizing.

QUESTION for private contemplation: Who came to mind as you read this today?

QUESTION for response: How will you pray for that person today?