Steve Ellison: Trampling My Courts

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

God really does expect righteous behavior from us.  In Isaiah 1, God is plainly putting His people on notice that they are on trial. God is the accuser, prosecutor, judge, and executor of justice. No one else is capable of fulfilling any one of these duties. The created order, heavens, earth, beasts, and the father-son relationship testify concerning Israel’s rebellion against God.  The people’s suffering under the natural consequences of their wickedness is given as further evidence of their rebellion.

God’s permitting foreign nations to oppress and besiege them is additional proof of their guilt. 

 

Verse nine introduces two scandalous and terribly offensive names, that will in the very next verse be applied to God’s people.  Isaiah 1:9 indicates that perhaps Israel has finally understood the gravity of the situation, Unless the Lord of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah. (NASU)  At least some in Israel have come to the conclusion that except for the mercy of God, they would have already destroyed themselves as Sodom and Gomorrah had destroyed themselves. 

 

Isaiah 1:10-13 indicates that Israel is ready for remedial instruction, Hear the word of the Lord, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah. “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.  When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?  Bring your worthless offerings no longer.” (NASU) God began the corrective teaching by calling them Sodom and Gomorrah!  Evidently, they were closer to final destruction than they realized.  Apparently, the people had continued to faithfully carry out the commanded sacrifices that were designed not to benefit God in any way but rather to draw attention to Jehovah as the reason for their righteous behavior. However, they had omitted the weightier part of the Law, which was to behave righteously.  The sacrifices without righteous living curried no favor with God.  In fact, He said they were trampling the hallowed courts of His holy Temple.  God called their offerings worthless, but the passage plainly shows that they are worse than worthless, they are offensive and burdensome to God. 

 

Isaiah 1:15 comes to perhaps the most tragic point, “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.”

(NASU)  God is under no obligation to even hear our prayers much less answer them. Isaiah 1 and other places in both the Old and New Testaments indicate that God has clear expectations about how we live our lives.  Right living has a definite bearing on our fellowship with God.  Praying lengthy passionate sincere prayers is no guarantee that you are in fellowship with the Creator.  Whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, there is always one prayer that God stands ready to hear and answer.  That is the prayer of repentance and faith.  If you have not been born again, God will hear and answer your prayer of repentance brought about by godly sorrow.  He will forgive you and accept your prayer of faith in Christ as risen Lord.  That is the only way to be reconciled to God. If you have been born again, but have been out of fellowship with God, He will joyfully receive your prayer of repentance and restore you to fellowship.


Steve Ellison: Giving Thanks

Scenic City Women's Network Distributes 1,000 Masks Through Operation Give Back Program

Union Gospel Mission Seeks Volunteers To Serve This Thanksgiving Eve


The Year of Our Lord 2020 has been a stressful one, filled with challenges, tests, trials, and temptations. My countrymen have largely lived sheltered lives. For whatever reasons, compared to ... (click for more)

One of Scenic City Women’s Network's many programs and services is Operation Give Back. This service allows SCWN to “give-back” to the community as a way of saying “thank you” to members and ... (click for more)

On Wednesday, The Union Gospel Mission will be serving Thanksgiving dinners to homeless neighbors from 1-3 p.m. on the corners of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Houston Street, and Martin ... (click for more)



Church

Steve Ellison: Giving Thanks

The Year of Our Lord 2020 has been a stressful one, filled with challenges, tests, trials, and temptations. My countrymen have largely lived sheltered lives. For whatever reasons, compared to almost everyone else around the world in every age, we have lived in ease, comfort, and safety. Perhaps, God will use Thanksgiving to bring us to our senses. We have not been grateful for the ... (click for more)

Scenic City Women's Network Distributes 1,000 Masks Through Operation Give Back Program

One of Scenic City Women’s Network's many programs and services is Operation Give Back. This service allows SCWN to “give-back” to the community as a way of saying “thank you” to members and to other organizations doing good work. "In today’s environment, we are happy to share a bit of goodwill," officials said. Yvonne Harvey, SCWN program’s coordinator, arranged this ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Heavy Rain And Then Snow Showers In Forecast For Chattanooga As Warm Temps Retreat

Heavy rain and then snow showers are in upcoming weather forecasts for the Chattanooga area as warm temperatures retreat. An approaching storm is expected to bring up to two inches of rain on Sunday night. Then there is a chance of rain and snow on Monday night as the mercury drops to 28 degrees. Here is the upcoming forecast: Sunday A 30 percent chance of showers, ... (click for more)

Tennessee Has 3,052 New COVID Cases, 13 More Deaths; Hamilton County Has 320 New COVID Cases And 1 New Death

The number of coronavirus cases in Tennessee is 366,518 on Sunday with 3,052 new cases. There have been 13 more deaths from the virus, for a total of 4,554, said state Health Department officials. Hamilton County had 320 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The new total is 17,826. There was one more death from the virus in the county since Friday, bringing the total to 153. ... (click for more)

Opinion

County Employees Need A Bonus Too

A few weeks ago we learned that Sheriff Jim Hammond was asking for a second raise. Earlier this year Hamilton County employees were notified that "due to COVID-19" there would be no raises for employees of any kind this year. I guess Mr. Hammond didnt get that memo about no raises. Why is it that some employees will be getting a raise and others are not? That doesn't really ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Thanksgiving Lesson

We had a strict rule at our house in my childhood that whenever there was a festive dinner of any type, politics were never allowed to be broached nor discussed, and the only time religion was ever mentioned was during the blessing itself. So, I laughed from a lifetime of experience when I heard on Saturday that one of my dearest friends, suddenly surrounded by flaming lefties who ... (click for more)