WHAT IS REASONABLE?

WHAT IS REASONABLE?

Reasonable. What is reasonable? What can we accept? Are trials reasonable? Do we feel that it is reasonable for us to expect troubles in our lives when we are under the protection of our Heavenly Father? Not really, is it? Good times, we have no issues accepting. But what happens when good times go bad?

We all have different ideas of what is reasonable. But have you ever wondered just what is reasonable to our Father? What can He accept? Well, if that question has ever crossed your mind, then let us spend some time today to find out.

“…I have nourished and brought up children,
And they have rebelled against Me;
The ox knows its owner
And the donkey its master’s crib;
But Israel does not know,
My people do not consider.” Isaiah 1:2-3

We don’t even need to look at Israel’s history prior to Egypt to know that they have indeed been a very blessed people. Even whilst they were in captivity, they were protected, they were provided for. Else why would they say to Moses, when they were at the Red Sea,

“If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” Numbers 14:2-3

So while subjugation was tough for them, they still could get by, couldn’t they? In fact, their numbers flourished to the point where their Egyptian masters were worried about them becoming the majority in the population. How could this have happened if not for our Father’s protection and provision?

Then we remember that when they were in the wilderness, they weren’t abandoned either. For

‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.”” Exodus 16:12

And after they had completed their sojourn, they landed up in Canaan, where they were given victory after victory over the peoples who inhabited the land, thus fulfilling His promise to the people;

“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.” Exodus 3:7-8

So our Father has indeed nourished His children and brought them out of slavery, into the wonderful life that He promised, yet

“…they have rebelled against Me;” Isaiah 1:2

I don’t know about you, but I can sense the pain in our Father’s heart when He says,

“The ox knows its owner
And the donkey its master’s crib;
But Israel does not know,
My people do not consider.” Isaiah 1:3

Even the animals know gratitude; but man, the pinnacle of God’s creation, the only sentient being on this planet given free will by God, we don’t even know how to discern the love of our Father when it is placed plainly in front of us.

What about you? Do you feel like you have rebelled against God sometimes? Now, don’t get all defensive and think that God has a very wide definition of rebellion. In reality, He only asks that we do one thing, and it is this;

“My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.” Proverbs 3:1-2

And what is the command of God?

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

Is that a reasonable request from God? That you believe that Jesus came out of love for you to take the punishment for your sins on the cross, so that you don’t have to anymore. That you have your protector and provider, in your heart? That you remember that He really does love you, so all you need to do when you are in trouble is run to Him? Is that a fair request? Don’t you yourself expect the same from your spouse and children, after all that you have done for them?

Or have we forgotten the source of our blessings and protection? Have we begun to trust in the ways of the world and rely on our own strengths to solve our problems? Have we begun to turn to consultants and advisers, trusting in their counsel more than we trust the guiding of our Father? Have we

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;” Isaiah 53:6

And you know, the fact is, our Father is not reminding us of this because He wants to elicit more sacrifices from us by putting us on a guilt trip. In fact, of sacrifices, He says,

““To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.” Isaiah 1:11

And of the offering from one who is insincere, this is what the Lord says

“When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.” Isaiah 1:12-14

In the middle ages, think Robin Hood and the Knights Templar, priests used to love confession; because they could use penitence as an excuse to extort from their parishioners and line their coffers. But God is not in this for the offering. Instead He says,

““Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”” Isaiah 1:18

Yes, you didn’t read it wrong. Though you have sinned, though you have been nourished and yet have forgotten the source of your blessings; our Father is saying that He is willing to make us right before Him, sort out the consequences of our sin so that not only do we not have to bear them, we can be faultless, blameless, as white as snow. Is that reasonable?

But it doesn’t stop there, it gets better. God says,

“I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isaiah 1:25-26

He was not just going to overlook our sins and pretend that they never happened. He was going to righteously purge our sins, have them comprehensively removed; so that no one can have any reason to point at us and make us feel guilty for our sins ever again. And after He has done that, He will rightfully restore our righteousness back to us. Now, for a people who have rebelled against Him, is it reasonable for Him to want to do all that for us?

But I know what you are thinking; so there’s still punishment, isn’t there? Most certainly. And would it be unreasonable of God to punish you for your sins? Yet, He didn’t, did He? Did He smite you? Has He completely ruined your life? Has He driven you into the ground and brought you to the end of yourself?

We need to be careful that we don’t mistake the trials of this world for punishment from God, for indeed, this is our reality when it comes to punishment for our sins; that when Jesus went to the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

We have sinned, we have forgotten the source of our blessings and we have begun to rely on our own strengths and the smarts of this world. We have begun to trust in the source of our problems for our solutions. Yet, our Father is saying that He will unilaterally make us right with Him by punishing Jesus on our behalf, and all this was completed 2000 years ago when Jesus went to the cross; so that now,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

So beloved,

““Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”” Isaiah 1:18

There is nothing ‘reasonable’ about our Father’s love; because He loves us better than any Father can. He has got nothing but love for you because Jesus has taken all your punishment. So let us be reasonable and simply remember to remember Him, especially during our trials, for that is really all that He ever asks of us.

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