Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. Isaiah 63:10
Is there any more grievous verse in Scripture? Those whom God loved, saved, redeemed, and carried, now turned their backs on Him in rebellion. Instead of responding in love and obedience as God had willed, they now sought only their own desires. The result of their rebellion? The God who wanted only to shower His blessings upon them now became their enemy and fought against them.
How is this possible? How could God become the enemy of His own people? As you read the rest of this passage, it becomes clear that the Lord had not rejected His people; however, their sin had consequences. Those consequences upon a rebellious people were so severe that it appeared the God who previously was protecting them, had now turned and was allowing disaster to overtake them.
My friends, do not allow yourselves to breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Whew, I’m sure glad that’s the Old Testament and not today. I’d hate to have God as my enemy.” This is the unchanging, Holy God, who today still hates sin. He loves us enough that He will not leave us in our sin. Unrecognized, unrepentant sin still has consequences for the people of God.
Holy Father, keep me from rebellion. Forgive me for placing my desires first. Pour into my life the spirit of repentance that allows me to see sin from Your perspective and to hate it as You do. Awaken Your Church today to see the grave consequences of unrepentant sin. May we turn from sin and draw near to You!
–adapted from HeartCry for Revival devotional 2011 by David Butts, author of Asleep in the Land of Nod (Thirty Days of Prayer Toward Awakening the Church)
Rejoice with the prophet Isaiah, who wrote, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10). Thank God for producing such joy in your life. Confess any lack of Christian joy. Commit yourself to bearing the fruit of joy through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Ask God to fill you with an inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Pet. 1:8).
Pray for your own expression of joy in the Lord. Do unbelievers recognize it in you? Do they know the source of your joy? Ask God to make your joy genuinely contagious.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend