Our next practical lesson from Isaiah is this:
10. THOSE WHO SURRENDER TO THE LORD WILL SUCCEED.
Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
This is a well known part of Isaiah and very encouraging. Those who will submit and surrender to God will not be disappointed.
11. IDOLATRY IS ILLOGICAL.
Isaiah 44:15-17 - "Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself; yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; indeed he makes a god and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. He burns half of it in the fire; with this half he eats meat; he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, 'Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.' And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, 'Deliver me, for you are my god!'"
The situation described is irrational. Part of the "god-wood" is used for heating & cooking and the part leftover is worshipped! Such a one is blinded by his own inconsistency. How can one make a god? How is a god that must be carried worthy of worship? How can such a god deliver anyone?
12. THERE ARE LIMITED OPPORTUNITIES TO GET RIGHT WITH GOD.
Isaiah 55:6,7 - "Seek the LORD while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."
On one hand, as long as the blood flows through a person's veins, there is still time for repentance. However, it is undeniably the case that it is easier to get right with God at certain moments in time more so than others. The wise, in his youth, will seek God (cf. Eccl. 12:1). It often becomes more difficult to genuinely turn to the Lord as one ages and gets set in his ways & sins.
13. GOD'S WAYS & THOUGHTS ARE FAR ABOVE OUR OWN.
Isaiah 55:8,9 - "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"
We need to be reminded of this truth regularly, particularly when things are not going the way we believe they should. God's ways and thoughts are above our own; trust Him and do not worry! Also, let us trust God's wisdom expressed in the Scriptures and follow it, even when another way seems to make more sense.
14. GOD'S WORD WILL BEAR FRUIT, THOUGH NOT ALWAYS IN THE WAY WE WOULD EXPECT.
Isaiah 55:10,11 - "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please."
Our perspective is limited, and it is easy to forget that fact. We often cannot see how circumstances are working together in manifold ways to accomplish God's will. Let us do what we can to sow and water the gospel seed, and then may we pray and trust God to bring forth the increase in His own way and time (cf. I Cor. 3:5-7)!
15. SIN SEPARATES PEOPLE FROM GOD.
Isaiah 59:1,2 - "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."
Sin severs the fellowship between man and God. Sin ought not to be considered lightly. It is a very serious matter, which is illustrated well in the fact that Jesus died so that our sins could be atoned for and fellowship restored in the ultimate sense.
16. WHAT GOD HAS ALWAYS WANTED IS HUMILITY AND RESPECT.
Isaiah 66:1,2 - "Thus says the LORD: 'Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,' says the LORD. 'But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.'"
God desires mortals to be humble and to revere Him. There is nothing we can do intrinsically to benefit or help God, but we should be meek and lowly in our attitude, speech, and behavior. This is very important to the LORD.