Lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.
-Isaiah 63: 17, 19 (NLT)
I used to wonder why we are allowed so much freedom. Take the story of Adam and Eve for example. Why in the world did God allow them to sin? Better yet, why would He even make the friggin’ tree of knowledge? Ok, so He made the tree, not much we can do about that. But why wouldn’t He stop the serpent from tempting Adam and Eve? Seriously, am I the only one who wants to ask God ‘What were You thinking?’ So, thanks a lot God. Good job Adam. Way to go, Eve. Screw it up for the rest of us.
I have a lot of questions for God. I used to say that I was going to ask Him every last one of them when I got to heaven. Now, I think not so much maybe. I don’t think it’s going to matter then, do you? Life will be perfect then so who cares about my questions then.
But since I’m not currently in heaven, I wonder some things. Apparently, according to this passage, so did Isaiah. I love how real he is in this. ‘Lord, why did You let this happen?’ And, my favorite part of this, “Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you”. Ouch.
So, why do we do these things that cause pain to us, create distance between us and God? More importantly, why does He let us get away with it? Well, we do it because we are flawed, broken people who cannot seem to accept His love. Seriously, think about that. We cannot accept His overwhelming love for us.
It seems too good to be true. It just feels wrong, right?
Well, that’s because we’ve lost sight of something. We cannot fathom His forgiveness, His love because we don’t understand the nature of God. It boggles our little brains to think that He loves us that much because, somehow, we have not learned about Him. We don’t know Him.
Why does God allow us to turn away? Because He loves us. That sounds weird, I know. Parents will tell you they stop their kids from doing things out of concern for their safety, out of love. I get that. So, why doesn’t God stop us if He loves us so much? Because love allows choice. He lays it out there for you.
You have to choose right.
You have to choose holiness.
You have to choose love.
You have to choose Him.
I love the heart of God for His people in this passage. As you read further, you see God’s response to Isaiah. His response tells you a lot about Him. Chapter 65, verses one and two speak of His love.
“The Lord says,
I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.
But they follow their own evil paths
and their own crooked schemes.”
Picture that. God calling out to His people, with love in His eyes, ‘Pick me, pick me!’ Hear the desperation in His voice! He is desperately in love with a people who do not return His love. With open arms to our rebellion, He just wants to hold us. To take away the pain of our actions, the stain of our sin. To show us a better way, how to walk in communion with Him, in holiness.
Why would we choose any other way? We already know how dark that path is because most of us spend a lot of time in voluntary emptiness. Do you hear it, the call of the Savior?
‘Here I am, here I am! Pick Me!’