Isaiah 17:7-8 “In that day man will have regard for his Maker and his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel. He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands.”

Observation: Isaiah’s prophecies, like most prophecies, generally addressed two time frames, two groups of people. First were the people standing in front of him, listening with their physical ears. But he also addressed us, we who would be alive at the end of the age, when the Lord’s return would in an instant change history and expose peoples’ heart condition. At that time, we will have regard for our Maker, having no regard for the altars made by our own hands. Our eyes then will look only to the Holy One. Hebrews 10:1 makes the same point:  “The Law . . . can never, by . . . sacrifices . . . , make perfect those who draw near.”

Application: Through these passages, God is again appealing to me not to rely on my own best efforts, no matter how good they may be, to win His favor. All I undertake in my own capabilities will fall short of satisfying both Him and me. If that’s the case, then it would seem wise to put away once and for all my human efforts to build and acquire things even if I then intend to offer them to God, when all He wants and all He accepts is my heart.

Oh to have eyes now for the Holy One of Israel—now, while it can still be said that I voluntarily came to love Him! Since it is inevitable, when Christ comes, that everyone will bow and confess that he is Lord (Phil. 2:10–11), why not experience now the indescribable blessings and joy of reordering my life today, to reduce interruptions, to heighten my focus on God? I want this to be something I have done willingly, something I have undertaken because of passion and zeal He has stirred in me. I want to be one of His voluntary lovers, having put into second place every other love of my life, every other pursuit. Let them grow dim, even as fiery passion for Him burns more brightly in my heart.

Prayer: You say, Lord, that at the end of the age every knee will bow before You, every tongue will confess You as Lord. How awful it would be to have waited till then to bow and confess. Now is the time I gladly confess You as Lord. Today I bow before You by making choices about how I spend whatever time and money are available to me. I pray, Lord, that You would know me as a voluntary lover, as one who has regularly set all other loves into second place.