And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Isaiah 6:9, 10.
The prophet’s duty was plain; he was to lift his voice in protest against the prevailing evils. But he dreaded to undertake the work without some assurance of hope. “Lord, how long?” (Isaiah 6:11) he inquired. Are none of Thy chosen people ever to understand, and repent, and be healed?
His burden of soul in behalf of erring Judah was not to be borne in vain. His mission was not to be wholly fruitless. Yet the evils that had been multiplying for many generations could not be removed in his day. Throughout his lifetime he must be a patient, courageous teacher—a prophet of hope as well as of doom. The divine purpose finally accomplished, the full fruitage of his efforts, and of the labors of all God’s faithful messengers, would appear. A remnant should be saved. That this might be brought about, the messages of warning and entreaty were to be delivered to the rebellious, the Lord declared, “until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land” (verses 11, 12).
The heavy judgments that were to befall the impenitent—war, exile, oppression, the loss of power and prestige among the nations—all these were to come in order that those who would recognize in them the hand of an offended God might be led to repent. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom were soon to be scattered among the nations, and their cities left desolate; the destroying armies of hostile nations were to sweep over their land again and again; even Jerusalem was finally to fall, and Judah was to be carried away captive; yet the Promised Land was not to remain wholly forsaken forever.—The Review and Herald, March 11, 1915.
Ye Shall Receive Power p. 266
—-Please pray for my husband Richard who has just been diagnosed with Throat cancer. Pray that he will recover fully through medical treatment or by a miracle from God. Sarah Jane
—-Please pray for me as I have several job interviews over the next two weeks. One is with a company for which I have wanted to work for quite some time. Please pray that I will get the job that God wants me to have. RJ
—-Please pray for several situations affecting various family and friends. May God take complete control of each. Rose
The other day I was talking with someone who was adopted and in the course of the conversation, I told the story of Mrs. Russell and a baby that was literally left in her lap by a young lady who had struck up a conversation with her while they were riding on a train. This took place in the 1800s, so she was able to take the baby home and raise him as her son. She named him James. She loved him as her own son. She made one big mistake, however. In all his childhood and all through his teen years, she never told him that she was not his birth mother.
When he was 21, Mrs. Russell told him the story about the young girl on the train and how she chose Mrs. Russell to raise him as her own. She explained that the note the young woman had pinned to her baby said that on his twenty-first birthday, he was to go to a certain bank and it would be told him who he was and be given a large sum of money to go to college or to start a business. Poor James was shocked and horrified. He was repulsed by the whole situation. All the security of home vanished. How could this woman who had raised him NOT be his mother! She had never even hinted that he was not her own son. He felt deceived and forsaken.
After thinking about it for a few days, he decided that he did not want to know who he was. He did not want his real mother’s money no matter how much or how willingly it was offered. Mrs. Russell had loved him, and he loved her. She had raised him as her son. She was his mother: not the one who gave him birth.
When my mother was a little girl, she lived next door to James. He was a bent-over, white-haired old man who walked on crutches because he had arthritis so badly. Because of his decision, he had lived his life as a common laborer, owned only a small house, when he could have had a good education and great riches.
When I was a little girl, I used to look at his picture. He and his wife (a squat little woman with her hair drawn up in a strange-looking knot on the very top of her head) were standing on the steps of their very tiny wooden house. I would think of the life he could have had. It was within his reach. All he had to do was ask for it. But he would not.
I often thought, too, of his birth mother. She must have been at the bank on James’ birthday. She must have been searching the face of every young man as he entered and wondering if this could be her son. Long years, she had waited for this moment. All her desires were to hold in her arms that baby she was forced to abandon. As the day came and went, her heart broke even more than it had that far-off day. Had her son died? Had she chosen the wrong woman and she had taken him to an orphanage? Had she failed to tell him of the good news, the new life that was waiting for him? That evening, when the bank closed, a tearful, heartbroken woman left the bank never to know the answers to her questions……..
Even so, our Heavenly Father has provided everlasting life for us, but we must claim it as ours. All that can be done for mankind’s salvation has been done, but if we do not reach out and take it, it does us no good. How our Dear Saviour longs for us to accept His great provision. How He desires us to put our hand in His and allow Him to lead in our life. How much desire He has to give us His great gifts of love. He will not force us, however. He does all He can to draw us to Himself. As He tells us through the prophet Jeremiah, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 He assures us, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” Isa 49:15,16 With longing desire in His voice, He pleads, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isa 45:22
How our Great Redeemer’s heart of love breaks when we do not accept His grace. He says to us as He said to Jerusalem of old, “how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Matt 23:37 “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11
May we never turn away from His great love. May we reach out and accept His Great Gift. May we love Him with all of our heart, all of our mind, all of our strength is my prayer.