Passage: The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel. All the people will know it -- Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria -- who say with pride and arrogance of heart, "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars." But the Lord has strengthened Rezin's foes against them and has spurred their enemies on. Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth.
Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away, His hand is still upraised.
Journal: Israel, the northern kingdom, had gone further down the path of rebellion than Judah, the southern kingdom. Yet, each nation was striking a similar rejection of God and His commandments. Isaiah, though a prophet in Judah, now takes dead aim at the rebellion of Israel. The Assyrian onslaught against Israel has begun and destruction is in the beginning stages. Captivity will soon follow.
The appropriate response would be one of repentance and a cry for mercy. The nation should have heeded the words of God's prophets and changed course to avoid further discipline ("Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away, His hand is still upraised.") Yet, this was not at all the response of Israel. Instead of humility, the response was arrogance. Instead of repentance, the response was repeating more of the same. The bricks had fallen, but more expensive replacement materials were contemplated. ("The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.") Pride was on display. They considered themselves merely a victim of circumstance, rather than a wayward child under the discipline of their Father.
So it is with the child of God. There is a constant onslaught that strikes a cord with our sinful nature. Our daily rebellion causes the "upraised hand." Our response is in direct correlation with our sanctification. A response of genuine sorrow for our sinful propensity leads to Christ becoming more evident and self becoming less disruptive. A response of "more of the same," the propensity to replace the broken fragments of our life with sinful brick after sinful brick, leads to the promotion of self and a walk with Christ that is indistinguishable and lifeless. The child of God will persevere and turn to God, thus proving the genuineness of his or her bloodline.