In Isaiah 28:12, our compassionate GOD, sent HIS servant Isaiah to the people of Judah and Jerusalem offering them rest, but they would not listen to HIS WORDS or accept HIS invitation to rest.
Before we begin, please note the passage in Isaiah 28:12. Our Beloved LORD GOD sent HIS prophet Isaiah to HIS own people (Psa 105:6, Psa 135:4, Amo 3:1-2). And like HIS people in earlier times, there are many today who still reject HIS message, and refuse HIS invitation to rest.
You might be wondering why someone, especially someone professing to know GOD, would reject HIS invitation to rest. To understand this, you must look at who it is, that is rejecting HIS invitation. And then you must look at why they are rejecting HIS invitation.
Who are these people that are rejecting GOD’s message and invitation? It is not those who do not know HIM (Judg 2:10, 1 Sam 2:12, Jer 4:22, 1 Cor 15:34), nor those who are openly hostile to HIM (Rom 8:7-8, Jude 1:15, Php 3:18-19). Instead it is those who claim to know GOD, but their lifestyle, testify that there is little or no relationship with HIM (Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 2:4). Although, these people profess to be godly, they reject HIM, HIS message, and the holy life they are being called to walk in, as demonstrated by the following Scriptures:
Thus says The LORD,
Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
And I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
For thus The LORD GOD, The Holy ONE of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,
Then HE said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with MY words to them
For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel
Nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand
But I have sent you to them who should listen to you
Yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to ME
Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of GOD and of CHRIST JESUS, WHO is to judge the living and the dead
And by HIS appearing and HIS kingdom
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season
Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled
They will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires
And will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
Some of you will reject the aforementioned Scriptures for at least one of two reasons:
- The Old Testament is not for us today.
- These passages refer to Israelites, and you are not an Israelite.
From Scripture this is what our Beloved LORD GOD says:
To the first point:
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Rom 15:4)
All Scripture is inspired by GOD and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of GOD may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
To the second point:
Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that GOD would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. (Gal 3:6-9)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in CHRIST JESUS. And if you belong to CHRIST, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:28-29)
In 2 Corinthians 13:5, our Beloved LORD GOD tells us to examine/test ourselves to whether we are truly living a life of faith/trust in HIM, not merely professing to live one. Here are some things you might consider during your examination:
- When a message makes you uncomfortable, do you criticize the messenger and reject the message (Luk 10:16, Jhn 8:47, Jhn 18:37, 1 Jhn 4:5-6), or do you seek GOD out (Psa 53:2, Psa 9:10)
- When a message makes you feel good, do you confirm it with The WORD of GOD (Acts 17:11, 1 The 5:21)
- Do you long for The presence of GOD (Psa 42:1-2, Psa 63:1, Psa 143:6)
- Do you frequently seek personal time with HIM (Psa 27:8, Psa 105:4, Psa 119:2)
- How frequently do you personally read/study The BIBLE (Deu 17:18-20, Pro 8:34, Pro 16:20)
- Is your church attendance based on priority or convenience (Heb 10:24-25)
- Do you strongly desire to know GOD and HIS ways (Exd 33:13, Psa 25:4-5, Psa 119:33-40, Isa 2:3)
- Is knowing HIM more precious than anything else in your life (Php 3:7-8, Heb 11:24-26)
- Are you more concerned about pleasing HIM or pleasing others (Gal 1:10, Jhn 8:29, 1 Ths 2:4)
Where is the place of rest that GOD is offering to HIS people in Isaiah 28:12? It is a place:
- In HIS presence (Psa 16:11, Psa 21:6, Psa 27:4-5, Psa 31:20)
- Where burdens are lifted (Psa 55:22, Psa 68:19, Mat 11:28-30, 1 Jhn 5:3)
- Where there is peace of mind, regardless of the circumstances (Isa 26:3, Jhn 14:27, Php 4:6-7)
- Where there is tranquility, free of agitation and consternation (Psa 29:10-11, Psa 46:1-3, Isa 43:1-5, Hab 3:17-19)
- Where trust and confidence in HIM remain constant in all situations (Psa 71:5, Psa 84:12, Pro 16:20, Jer 17:7-8)
How do you accept GOD’s place of rest? By listening to HIM as reflected in your obedience to HIM (Pro 1:33, Pro 3:32, Luk 11:28); by placing your trust and confidence in HIM instead of yourself (Pro 3:5-8, Pro 28:26); by pursing HIM (Isa 55:6, Mat 7:7-13) until HE lets you find HIM (Deu 4:29, Jer 29:13).
Thus says The LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel,
“I am The LORD your GOD, WHO teaches you to profit,
WHO leads you in the way you should go.
“If only you had paid attention to MY commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.