Isaiah 59: The Choice of Following
I know that there is sometimes a major divide in the church between those who would believe in Calvinism, Arminianism or something in the middle. I still haven’t entirely figured out where I come down on it, but as I was reading Isaiah 59, we hear a little bit more about this division between God and man and why it is there.
Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Isa 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Isa 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Isa 59:5 They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
Isa 59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Isa 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
Isa 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
I know that there were a lot of verses there, but I found this passage incredibly interesting because in terms of basic formulation, it begins a lot like the general problem of evil. People ask if God isn’t powerful enough or not aware enough to prevent evil. We have kind of a similar question here. Is it not possible for God to save the people, or does He not realize that the people need saving?
It seems as if the problem is the choices that the people have made. For example, in verse four, they end up trusting in vanity. They are running to evil, and there has been destruction. At least to me it seems that we are talking about some dimension of human choice here. It is not that God cannot provide the deliverance they are looking for, but the people have made a choice to do other things, and God is allowing them to have the outcomes they are chasing.
Obviously, I am still processing this entire concept in my head, and I seem to go back and forth quite a bit, so this isn’t meant to be my definitive position. However, I found it very interesting that they formulate this argument very much but the problem of evil. God is more than able to provide deliverance, and He is certainly a personal God who knows what is going on around the world. Nevertheless, sinful people have made their choices, so they are being allowed to follow that path as well.