Our reading in Isaiah starts us on the portion of the Bible called the prophets. The prophets are typically divided into major and minor prophets. This has nothing to do with their significance but rather the length of their books. The major prophets consist of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; the minor are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. One of the primary functions of a prophet was to call a wayward people back to God through their words and example.
We can see this call to the wayward in Isaiah's audience. He is speaking to the externally religious, spiritually apathetic and those in opposition to God. Yet regardless of how religious they appear they all have wandered from God.
These people are found throughout the pages of the Bible (look especially at the description in Psalm 52), throughout the streets of Naples and potentially even the rows of Center Point. God's longing is that all of these people would come to him and experience his forgiveness and restoration power. He longed for Israel in Isaiah's day to experience this and has the same heart for our church and city. God's longing is that all would come to repentance and experience him as their good father. He called Isaiah to communicate his love and he calls us to do the same in our world today.
Question of the day: How can you share God's love with someone far from him today?
Father God, thank you that you drew me to yourself. Thank you that you desire all to come into relationship with you and experience the love and forgiveness that you offer. Help me not to wander from you and instead call all people to trust in you. Amen.