This morning I sat in the sunny garden, with the birds good-naturedly squabbling over the bird feeder, reading my Bible. I meditated on Isaiah chapters 43 and 44, which provide a beautiful description of God being the only saviour. He says:
I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free. (Isaiah 44:22)
How can He say this? What was the price He paid? Well, we will remember what it cost Him to set us free in just a few days, on Good Friday. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to pay the price we owe by offending Him. And the price demanded was Jesus’ life… which He willingly gave. Jesus died so that we could have abundant, joyful lives, secure in a wonderful relationship with God, knowing He will never let us go and never let us down. God is incredibly happy about this because He says in the next verse:
Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel. (Isaiah 44:23)
Thankful joy rose up inside me as I considered this wonderfully generous thing Jesus has done, and realised the very sky should be singing for joy! The budding lilac tree caught my eye; if it could, it would loudly sing because God is saviour. I looked around at the pebbles and rocks in the rockery. God says if we will not praise Him, then the very rocks and stones will cry out in praise (Luke 19). Wouldn’t that be something, if our gardens suddenly burst into song praising the God who created them? And who freely offers us salvation and freedom and a glorious relationship with Him?
It made me think back to another passage where God called on the heavens to witness our attitude towards Him, from Jeremiah:
‘Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate,’ declares the LORD, ‘for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.’ (Jeremiah 2:12-13)
Ignoring God, rebelling against Him, or refusing to believe He exists is such a terrible insult to Him that He calls it ‘evil’. Consider His language – be appalled, be shocked, be utterly desolate. Why does God find it appalling and shocking when we go our own way, doing what we like, and ignoring Him? Well, He describes it as if we were really thirsty and He offered us cool, delicious, refreshing water, yet we turned away and buried our faces in the dust to desperately try and quench our thirst. Who would do that? We would go for the water, right? But we so often don’t because we fail to realise what a wonderful thing we’re being offered: abundant, joyful life that will last forever.
So today, are you joining the heavens in singing? Or, is God calling on the heavens to be shocked and appalled at your attitude towards Him?