Have you ever pursued a one-sided relationship? Few people would think of starting out a friendship or a courtship knowing the other person had no intentions of following through. The much more real situation is that after getting to know someone, we realize that their feelings do not match our own.

If you have had a situation like that, remember that feeling as we read this passage of Isaiah’s prophesy.

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;

    I was found by those who did not seek me.

To a nation that did not call on my name,

    I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’

All day long I have held out my hands

    to an obstinate people,

who walk in ways not good,

    pursuing their own imaginations—

a people who continually provoke me

    to my very face,

offering sacrifices in gardens

    and burning incense on altars of brick;

who sit among the graves

    and spend their nights keeping secret vigil;

who eat the flesh of pigs,

    and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;

who say, ‘Keep away; don’t come near me,

    for I am too sacred for you!’

Such people are smoke in my nostrils,

    a fire that keeps burning all day.”

Isaiah 65:1-5

God reached out his hands and beckoned a people who disdained him, not revering him or his ways but turning aside to devices of their own imagination. They had become convinced that the profane “holiness” they invented for themselves was more important.

What a loss! What deeply felt pain! God wanted a relationship with his people but they wanted nothing to do with him.

God is not unfamiliar with rejection. Let’s make sure we aren’t causing him to feel it all over again.

Ethan Kirl