Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
This is Isaiah summing up man.
In Isaiah 48, Isaiah is telling the Israelites how God has shown them miracles, brought them out of bondage, and informed them of the consequences of their actions. God reminds them that all the things told to them and shown to them have come to pass. The Israelites knew of the consequences of their actions and chose to ignore them, they turned to man-made idols for their salvation.
The Israelites had experienced the consequences of forsaking God and yet each generation reverted to idolatry and sin. Each generation, even after seeing what happened to their ancestors, refused to believe that the laws of God applied to them. They were stiff necked and hard headed.
And so we are today. We still turn to idolatry and expect these false gods that come in many forms to be our salvation. We turn to idols to preserve us and help us. We turn to idols in an effort to avoid looking at ourselves and opening our hearts to find answers and salvation.
Few of us carve images from stone or wood and say they possess power over us. We find our idols elsewhere. They are idols on electronic screens given powers that they do not possess. Some idols are simply objects that are coveted by us and our neighbors and so we give them power over our lives.
Man also turns to other people and assumes they will be our salvation. These people tell us they’re our salvation, so why not let them save us. It’s less work you know. By doing so we give them power.
We see the forces of God every day and know the laws. We see the consequences of our actions. Still we say as Isaiah writes in verse 5 of chapter 48:
My idol did them, my carved image and my metal image commanded them.
We are obstinate, with necks of iron sinew and a forehead of brass. We beat our head against the wall to avoid the hard work of righteousness.
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