Jump Start # 2518
Isaiah 10:3 “Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth?”
Our Scripture today comes from a serious rebuke of the leadership of Judah. God’s people were going the wrong direction. This has constantly been a problem among God’s people. It remains a problem even today. Wrong leaders. Corrupt leaders. Leaders who do not know how to lead. Leaders who are not committed to the Lord. All of this makes a terrible path for the people of God. In the O.T., leaders were often the very ones who allowed, promoted and supported idolatry. God warned and warned His people. The blind were following the blind. God eventually sent in foreign nations to punish His people. Beloved cities were torched. Lives were lost. Some were taken captive to a foreign land. Their world turned upside down.
In this section, what Isaiah is driving at is that these unfaithful leaders have done what they wanted to do. They enacted evil laws. They made unjust decisions. They took advantage of the people. They robbed the poor and the widow. Now, when God calls them on the carpet for this and when the Lord sends punishment what will they do? Our verse asks, “What will you do?” Who is going to help you? Your people? You’ve walked all over them. And, all this dishonest money you’ve stolen from others, what are you going to do when foreign invaders come? They will take everything. These dishonest rulers have painted themselves into a corner and now they can’t get out. They are trapped. They never saw this coming. They are out of options and out of help. The Lord won’t be there for them. It is the Lord who is sending this punishment. God is fed up with their cruel ways. It’s not a pretty place to be in. Trouble was coming and there was nothing they could do to prevent it.
“Now what will you do?” Great question then and a great question for now. Let’s look at a few thoughts:
Here is a person who walks away from the Lord. I could put names to that scenario. One man served as a deacon and did some preaching here and there. Divorced, remarried, he embraced superstitious religions, including witches. He’s a long, long way from where he once was. Happy. Content. Busy. Having the time of his life. Sounds like the leaders of Judah. What will you do when it’s your time to leave this planet? Giving up on God, Heaven, God’s word, one is left to believe make-believe myths that lack evidence, proof, logic and hope. What will you do if you turn your back on the Lord? Take your chances? What chance do you have? There are no chances.
Here is someone who doesn’t have time for his family. He’s too busy making a career. Higher and higher he climbs that corporate ladder. He makes unbelievable money. It has come with a high price tag. He finds himself doing things and saying things that he never would have done years ago. He’s had to step on others to get where he is at. He’s bent the rules in his favor. He’s made a lot of enemies in the process. But he justifies it as necessary to get to the top. And, the cost has been heavy upon his family. He’s missed his kids growing up. He wasn’t a coach for the kids soccer teams. He wasn’t in the stands when the kids played. He missed the plays that they were in. And, the few times he was there, he wasn’t. He was on the phone. And, this man’s wife feels like a widow. She’s alone. She’s raised the kids by herself. He’s always gone. He’s always on the phone. They have a large home. They drive the best cars. They are the envy of many people, but not his family. And, there has be a huge cost spiritually. While others his same age are being appointed as deacons and shepherds in the congregation, his name is always skipped. He’s hardly ever there. He’s not engaged. He doesn’t seem very interested. He never helps out. He never teaches. But he’s at the top. Jet setter. Expensive suits. Designer watches. Exotic cars. He’s got it. Just like the leaders of Judah. On top of the world, until it all comes to an end. Age catches up with this man. He has to retire. He sits around the house just watching TV. His phone is silent most days. His kids don’t come around. He never built a relationship with them. His wife left him years ago. And now this big shot sits alone in his large home. Now what will you do?
What will you do? That’s a question that we ask most high school graduates. What now? It’s a question that many people wonder about when they walk home from the cemetery. They have just buried their mate of many years. What now? It’s a question that congregations ask when their preacher leaves. What now?
For Judah, it was too late. For Judah, there were no answers. What will you do? They had no answers. There comes a time in life when one realizes that the door is closing and it’s too late. Living paycheck to paycheck seems fine when you are in your 20’s. But as you near your 70’s, you realize it’s too late to do much. Waiting until your kids are teens to start guiding them and giving them rules and instruction is too late. By that time, their attitudes and habits are formed. Waiting until the kids are out of the house to begin a relationship with your mate is too late. And, like the rich man in Luke 16, we can wait until it’s too late to think about our souls and eternity. That rich man was evangelistic, but too late. He was concerned about the spiritual wellbeing of his family, but too late.
What will you do? The true answer to this question is not wait until the is a crisis, a disaster, trouble or coming punishment. What you will do is devote a lifetime to following the Lord. So when the storm come, you have a foundation. You will know what to do. You will trust the Lord. Had these leaders of Judah done that, they may have missed the coming punishment. The sins and trouble we create in life has a way of coming back later and really hurting us.
What will you do? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t wait until you are out of options.