Isaiah 26 is the kind of chapter where after you read it, you can see some immediate connections to our modern-day lives. I want to point out one of those for you today.
Isa 26:10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
Isa 26:11 LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
This is interesting. It is almost like the concept behind natural theology. God will be revealed to these people, but they will not learn about Him. With natural theology, attributes of God are shown throughout nature, but some people do not recognize Him.
It makes sense when you think about it. The creation ought to be able to tell you something about the creator. It can tell you everything, but it can tell you something. By reading this article, you know something about me. You certainly don’t know everything about me, but this writing does reflect who I am on some level. It is the same way with God and nature. We can’t learn everything from nature, but we can learn some.
I think this is what Isaiah is talking about. The wicked people will recognize that they get some good things in their lives. There is favor shown to them, and they recognize it, but they do not learn the source of it. Even though the favor is a reflection of the graciousness of God, they do not recognize God as the originator of that.
What does it mean for those of us who recognize the graciousness of God? For one thing, I think that we need to be grateful. It is one thing to recognize or acknowledge, and it is quite another thing to be thankful and grateful. For another thing, I think we need to continue expanding our minds. Let me explain what I mean by that. We definitely need to recognize what God does in our lives, but I think that if we could see everything that God does, we would be blown away. He is actively involved in the world in no way that we cannot entirely comprehend. Therefore, I think that beyond recognizing all that we can, we also need to be working to become even more aware and sensitive to the work of God.