"No one is concerned about justice;
no one sets forth his case truthfully.
They depend on false words and tell lies;
they conceive of oppression
and give birth to sin" v.4
In chapter 57 Isaiah condemned Israel for its turning to false God’s and the decline and absence of leaders who are righteous and have a heart for God. In chapter 58 he points out their hypocritical fasting and religious acts that instead of bringing God pleasure, actually disgust him. In chapter 59 Isaiah points to their lack of any desire of justice and honesty in their lives and treatment of others.
Each of these chapters speaks about prayer. In chapter 57 it was not answered because it was not addressed to the true God (57:13 but to other idols in their lives as well. In chapter 58 God ignores their prayers because the petitioners are hypocrites (58:4) putting on a fake religious “show” for themselves while acting in sin towards others. Here in chapter 59 their prayers are not heard because they pray for justice for themselves, while they lie to and don’t treat those around them with justice.
When we communicate with someone, we know if they are “fake” with us and if effects our response to them. If a co-worker is spreading lies about you and trying to make you look bad to others, and then comes and compliments you, it means nothing to you. If you know your spouse is cheating on you, and they come home and say they love you, it makes your stomach turn. If a friend breaks a date with you and lies and says they were sick, and you find out they went out with others instead and did not include you, then call you the next day asking for a favor you are hurt and resentful.
Prayer is our communication with God. All these things I mentioned above that effect our feelings and responses to others: honesty, respect, faithfulness, integrity, love, commitment, caring; somehow we feel do not effect God’s response to us. Isaiah is saying here; we know that the way we treat others is important to that relationship and impacts it. Why don’t we feel the same way about our relationship with God? Will he always love you, yes. But treating your spouse or parents like crap and taking advantage of them because you know they will always love you and be there for you is a pretty crappy way to respond to their love. It is also a pretty crappy way to respond to God’s love for you.
Take a few moments today and let God know, that though you may not have said it in a while. You do love him. Then sit and listen to his response.