“I know what I’m doing. Don’t tell me what to do.”
So often, we take that attitude and it gets us into trouble. And then we blame God, and accuse him of abandoning us.
That’s what the Israelites did. By their own sins, they fell into deep trouble, and then accused God of leaving them.
But God says here,
Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away. When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? (1-2)
Basically, the Israelites said, “You broke your marriage covenant with our mother Jerusalem. You divorced her and abandoned us, your children.”
But God answers, “Where’s the certificate of divorce? To whom did I sell you? I didn’t do anything. You sold yourself into slavery because of your sins. I didn’t kick you out. I came home, and you had left me. You were unfaithful to me.”
Then God compares faithless Israel to Jesus, the coming Messiah. Jesus, to whom his Father gave an “instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.” Who listened to his Father morning by morning with open ears. Who didn’t rebel against his Father, but was willing to suffer in order to follow his Father’s will. And because of that, the Father was with him and helped him. (4-7)
Then God says,
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment. (10-11)
What is he saying? If you’re walking around in the dark, stumbling around in your sin, put your trust in God. Rely on him and his wisdom. And you will come out of darkness into light. We’ll find the forgiveness of God in our lives, and as Jesus, we’ll be able to say,
He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me? (8-9)
It’s very reminiscent of the words of Paul in Romans 8:33-34 where he says,
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
But if you insist on walking by your own “light,” you will end up suffering for it.
How often do we walk by our wisdom, and we destroy our lives. We wreck our relationships, our marriages, our finances, and everything else in our lives? And then we blame God.
How much better would it be if we would commit ourselves to following God and doing things his way?
How about you? Are you walking by God’s light? Or your own?