Manipulating God

When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.” (Isaiah 1:15 ESV).

Isaiah 1:10-20 highlights the hypocrisy of the Hebrews.  God had setup the sacrificial system and all of its facets to produce repentance and tender hearts toward God and ultimately flowing out to others.  It was intended to produce dependance and piety in the people.  The people no longer pursued God, but rather went through the motions in an effort to manipulate God and place him in their debt.  God utterly rejected their worship because their hearts are far from Him.  Though they went through all of the religious motions, God ignored them because their hearts were far from Him.

“Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” (Isaiah 1:5 ESV)

Not even the most difficult circumstances will bring them to repentance.  Depravity reigns.  Even the decimation of their land and being overthrown by foreign invaders has moved them to repentance (7-8).

“If the LORD of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9 ESV)

It is only by God’s power and grace is a remnant left in Israel.