In my study of Isaiah today, Isaiah 42:20 stood out.

“You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.”

Isaiah 42:20 (NIV)

Isaiah was talking about Israel and how they were blind and deaf to what had happened to them and what would happen to them. At this time, most of Israel had been taken away into exile by the Assyrians.

But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.”

Isaiah 42:22 (NIV)

Isaiah challenges the Israelites to think about cause and effect. 

Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come? Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law. So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.

Isaiah 42:23-25 (NIV)

A friend of mine asked this question about Isaiah 42:20, “Why do we do that?” Not; why did they (Israel) do that? No, us. The “that” I see here has to do with missing or ignoring the warning signs we get from the Holy Spirit. 

When I mention warning signs, I’m talking about many things. One of those things is the warnings we get from the Bible. I mentioned the other day how the people in the Bible we read about are basically us and how important it is to recognize this. For example, the Lord delivers the Israelites out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt. However, what do they do when they reach the Red Sea with the Egyptian army closing in behind them? Do they remember that God delivered them out of bondage? No, they complain. What happens? The Lord parts the Red Sea, the Egyptians are destroyed, and the people celebrate. A little while later, the people get tired of the manna God’s been giving them every day because they want meat. God gives them meat, and they complain the next time there’s a problem. 

How do we respond when we read about the Israelites? Do we identify with that behavior or shake our heads in amazement? We are prone to doing similar things in our walk with the Lord. Whether it’s outright complaining or forgetting who God is and where he’s delivered us from. Isaiah 40:6 gives us this keen observation.

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.

Isaiah 40:6 (NIV)

I see a dual meaning in this verse. People don’t last much longer than flowers compared to God and eternity, and people’s faith doesn’t last much longer either. That’s to say, we sometimes easily forget what God did yesterday when we’re faced with trouble today. 

We can also miss the warning signs of the Spirit when we’re doing other things. Our eyes and ears can be open, but what are we paying attention to? That’s an easy question to answer. We’re paying attention to whatever we choose to watch, read, and listen to.

Ultimately, I think the answer to the question, “Why do we do that?” is very simple. We do that because we’re people, which is how people behave. Thank God for his grace! 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.