Woe to the rebellious children!
This is the Lord’s declaration.
They carry out a plan, but not mine;
they make an alliance,
but against my will,
piling sin on top of sin.
Hey guys! Welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast. Today I want to talk about Isaiah 30:1. So, in this verse God is laying out what the children of Israelites have done wrong this time, and one of the things that he mentions is that they have made plans without Him—that's what the CSB says. The King James Version actually says "taken counsel, but not of [Him]," which means that they've gotten advice from somebody other than God
Who’s Opinion Do You Value? (00:01:47)
When I first read this particular line, my initial reaction was to think of doing something other than what God told me to do. So kind of like Jonah was told to go to Nineveh, but he decided to do something else. He wasn't listening to God; he took somebody else's advice—his own advice, the devil's advice, it doesn't matter. He didn't take God's. But the more I thought about the verse, the more I realize that there is a deeper meaning to this. When we make plans, when we decide what we're going to do, what's cool, what's not cool, a lot of times there are certain people that have more influence over these decisions than other people. So for instance, your parents probably tell you that you're special or that you're beautiful or that you're handsome or whatever. Parents often tell their kids that they're great; they're your parents, they're supposed to tells you you're great, but that doesn't really have as much as meaning as someone else telling you that—your friends, your peers, your boss, whatever. It has a very different effect because you value their opinion differently—or more—than your parents'. And we can see this, like you could be madly in love with a particular person, and them not returning those feelings will make you feel a certain way, even though somebody else may be madly in love with you. But you don't like that person, and that doesn't comfort you. It doesn't make you feel like "Oh, I still have it, it's just something wrong with this person." You still feel upset that that person doesn't like you, because that person's opinion is quote-unquote more valid to you than this other person's.
When we put that idea into the context of verse 1 in Chapter 30 of Isaiah, I realize that we do this with God. A lot of times we think of the antichrist or you know, going against God as doing the opposite of what he wants us to do, but sometimes the world may be doing the right thing. It's very rare, but sometimes the world is promoting something good. But the reason we're doing it is not because God told us to do it, but because we value what the world thinks of us. So we may be doing community service because it looks good on a college application or because people in the world will value what we've done or they will think it's cool. We may be asking first if our peers will approve of this, and I don't just mean the secular world. I'm also talking about the people that go to your church. I'm talking about the people you associate with who may call themselves Christians. They may be Christians, they may not be Christians, it it doesn't really matter. I mean, sometimes I think definitely within Christianity, people are doing things because the pastor told them to do it, or because the pastor says that this is okay, and not because God said it was okay. And even though it's something that God may want you to do, you're supposed to be seeking first God's counsel, not other people's counsel.
Culture vs. God (00:05:37)
And what really made me think of this particular, I guess, point of view for this verse is that I used to get so annoyed in school. Because we would be talking about a particular problem or a particular question, and I would be explaining how to solve it and people would just kind of look at me like okay, and then go ask the teacher. And they would say exactly the same thing and all of a sudden they would take that answer and they be like, "Yeah. This is great," and I'm like, "Wait! I said that like an hour ago. We could have been gone. Why didn't you just listen to me?" And I feel like I can totally see how God could be sitting in Heaven like, "I already told you guys this. I told you this is how you should behave. I told you this is what you should do, but you didn't want to do it because I said do it. You did it because Jane Doe told you to do it or because this TV show promoted this idea," or whatever the case may be. A lot of people think "Oh well, you know the fact that I did it is what matters." But it's also about what's going on in your heart and in your mind, your intentions. What led you to do those things? Was it because of your connection to God? Or was it because you just thought it looked cool because all these other people were doing it? Or because this is what you know you've been raised to do, etc. etc.?
And it's one of the things that I really wanted to think about as I go through my life. Like there are definitely some things that I think I've been taught that are just cultural—like being polite to people. I'm from the South, like that's how I was raised. So when I stop and think about it like, oh am I nice to people because I recognize that this is a child of God and God has called me to be, you know, polite or hospitable to these people, or am I just doing this out of a reflex? Like is God actually a part of my decision making process, or am I just operating on autopilot. And I definitely think that that's something I can improve upon 'cause sometimes I think I just do things because that's what I think is the right thing to do, and I might not have asked God if He thinks that that's the right thing to do, but we're supposed to be consulting Him first. He is supposed to be the center of our plans, and the problem is, like I said in some cases we're doing the right thing it's just we might be doing it for the wrong reason, or we've done it because we were led by some other entity. But if we're not actively seeking Him for the decision-making process, that means we're more likely to do the wrong thing, because we are not that great at deciding between right and wrong. History has told us this. You can turn on the news right now, and you're going to see a whole lot of bad decision making on the part of humans.
Wrap Up (00:09:01)
So that is something that I want to focus on. I hope that you will focus on it too, because like I said, it's really, really important that are consulting Him. And yeah, I mean probably once you are steeped in the Holy Spirit, things should come like autopilot, maybe. I don't know. But for right now, I think I'm in the place where I need to be consulting God on a regular basis about my decision making skills. So, I want to be consulting His counsel and including Him in my plans, 'cause I'm not trying to be included in the "woe to the rebellious children" narrative that Isaiah had going on there. And I'm hoping that you’re not going to be included in that either, so let's work on that guys.
Thank you guys for tuning in! I will see you guys next week. You can find the transcript for this episode at www.psalmstogod.com/plans. Don't forget to like and subscribe! Bye. 👋🏾