(Is 1:19, 20 KJV) “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
The book of Isaiah opens with the Lord pronouncing judgment upon the nation of Judah. They were sinful at this point, loaded with evildoers, whose children were given to corruption; and likened to Sodom and Gomorrah. They had a form of godliness, but no true relationship with God. The nation of Judah was reaping what they had sown and the Lord was offering them another alternative. They were in a bad situation, but the Lord offered them a way out. He basically instructed them to change their seed. By changing their seed, they would change their harvest.
God did not offer to look beyond their sin and their wicked actions to bless them anyway. No, He pleaded with them to change their ways, so that He could bless them. Why? Because God is so much a God of His Word that He will not honour sin. He honours faith and faithfulness.
So … If ye be:
1. Willing: Willingness here deals with the inward desire of the heart. God knew their heart and knew that their heart was inclined towards sin and unrighteousness. The first step in a “turn-around” is acknowledging that you have the wrong motivation and changing your attitude. Once your attitude is changed, then you actions will follow.
2. Obedient: Obedience deals with the outward actions. Not only did God want their inward desires to change, but also for those desires to be manifested in outward acts of kindness and goodness. Obedience unlocks the favour of God in our lives. Willingness initiates progress, but obedience closes the deal. Obedience is the seed that will bring forth a harvest of righteousness.
What does this mean to you today? It means that you have a choice to either be willing and obedient or to refuse and rebel. Either way, you will reap a harvest. God wants us to operate in willingness and obedience, so that we can eat the good of the land and enjoy His best.