the vision of Isaiah the son of amoz, which he saw concerning judah and jerusalem in the days of uzziah, jotham, ahaz, and hezekiah, kings of judah. hear, o heavens, and give ear, o earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“children have i reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. the ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”  ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
they have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of israel, they are utterly estranged.
[isaiah 1:1-4]
the intimacy of the Lord’s voice; the cold recall of his children
the Lord uses intimate language towards his people, calling them children. God pursued israel time and time again, despite their idolatrous and adulterous hearts. God loved israel as a mother loves a child long cared for and nurtured. there is something beautiful that happens when a crying newborn hears its mother’s voice—this little creature that hasn’t even learned to eat yet stills its crying voice at the one thing it knows—it’s mother’s voice.
how often would i have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! [matthew 23:37]
the Lord never changes, and if you have been washed by the blood of Jesus, he runs to you with this same tenderness every time you run from him. why run from a God who loves you so? run to him, and he will forgive you and comfort you. run to him, and he will take you in, every time.
Lord, teach us to trust in your loving arms! when we sin, may we run straight to you in repentance, not fearing an angry God, but lamenting how we abused the love you bought with a great price. consume us with the joy of our salvation!
~ stephen hall