I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. (Isa. 1:2)
I worked as a court interpreter, helping Spanish-speaking individuals understand what was being said in the courtroom concerning their legal cases. The majority of cases in which I was involved had to do with family law, dealing with issues such as divorce, property settlements, child custody, and child support. In these cases, the disputing parties were family relatives. The litigation process usually brought to light the sense of deep pain and betrayal experienced by at least one of the parties.
The text in Isaiah gives us a snapshot of a court trial. The heavens and the earth were summoned as witnesses. The charges were laid out. The people of Israel were being accused of rebellion. The passage refers to God as father and to Israel as rebellious children, but this accusation was not of teenage rebellion but of national corruption and unfaithfulness. Because of God's love, Israel became a great family, a nation with law and land. But the people failed to fulfill their God-given family obligations.
The language in Isaiah exposes the deep pain and sense of betrayal that God experienced. This was a byproduct of a broken covenant. And the Lord did not hide his feelings. As members of God's people, we also have family obligations. It hurts God when we do not fulfill our relational responsibilities.
Choose to be faithful to your relational responsibilities before God the Father.
Luigi Peñaranda is an associate professor of global leadership and Latino/Latina Christian studies at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.