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The Bible can seem like an ancient book, full of “thees” and “thous”. It can seem confusing, with dragons, and dreams, and lots of things that “theology experts” argue about. But when we actually read what the Bible says, its often more relevant to our modern society than we might think.
In a recent poll, more than 10 percent of Americans identified Joan of Arc as Noah’s wife. When asked to name the four Gospels, only half of those polled could name even one. How about the Sermon on the Mount? When asked who delivered the message, only one in three knew the correct answer. And less than half gave the correct answer when asked what the first book of the Bible is.
So, is the Bible relevant today? One book in the Bible that echoes in our modern culture is the book of Isaiah. When we read Isaiah’s inspired words challenging ancient Israel to repent of their cultural corruption, it is easy to see how they apply to us today.
At the onset of his book, Isaiah was inspired to condemn the ancient Israelites for the fundamental sin of forgetting God. They were so focused on prosperity that they forget who gave them their bounty. In chapter 5 we read, “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” (vv. 3-4). God uses the vineyard as a symbol of what care He personally gave to the land of Israel. He gave the people every possible blessing to bring them happiness and success. Yet their abundance only yielded the intoxicating fruit of decadence. A few verses later, we see what God saw as He looked down upon the land that He had blessed so abundantly. “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! The harp and the strings, the tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands” (vv. 11-12).
For such an ancient book, Isaiah’s words are remarkably appropriate for today. We have lost sight of the God who has granted us the blessings we enjoy. We do not know Him, and we do not know His word.
Many years before the prophet Isaiah began to write, God used another man, Moses, to warn Israel in advance. He revealed the blessings that He planned to pour out on them. God would love them, bless them with children and with an abundance of crops. They would be blessed with good health and with peace (Deuteronomy 7:12-23).
But there was a requirement. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all you soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-6).
Never forget God. Teach your children about God. Do not forget the God who blessed you so abundantly.
The prophets of the Bible, from Moses to Isaiah and beyond, were inspired to proclaim a message to the people of their day, warning them against turning away from God.
And they were inspired to write those words down so we can read them today and be warned. They have just as much meaning for us today as they ever did for our ancient forefathers. For more information regarding who God is and what His plan is for us, read our booklet The Real God: Proofs and Promises. You can read it online, or request your own printed copy, absolutely free.
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