Remaining faithful despite persecutions
Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die...But you... Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys. You worship them with liquid offerings and grain offerings. They, not I, are your inheritance. Do you think all this makes me happy? Isaiah 57:1-6 NLT
The ones who live consistently in their commitment to follow God will be persecuted. This is what Isaiah conveyed from the text. Because of the corrupt leaders, there was injustice where the righteous were taken away. No one understands what happened to them. “But no one seems to care or wonder why” (Isaiah 57:1). The righteous will not be valued, respected, and honored. They should not be ashamed of how they are living their lives. They should not act as victims. They should continue to live godly lives so that evil will be exposed in the light. “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them” (Ephesians 5:10-11). To live the way God wants us to live is to experience the inner peace and rest He promised. To walk faithfully with God will not lead to disaster. Even when our obedience to God will result to death, it will not end in tragedy. When God is our life, as Paul said, “death is gain” (Philippians 1:21). What is devastating is when we lose our integrity because we prefer to follow the ways of the world rather than living for God. This is what happened to the Israelites when they started to worship the gods of the Babylonians. Their hearts were far away from God and followed the gods made of “smooth stones in the valleys.” They might find pleasure in what they are doing but God is not pleased. “They, not I, are your inheritance. Do you think all this makes me happy?” (Isaiah 57:6). God wants our full commitment by surrendering everything to Him. Let us satisfy our longings by coming to Christ again and again. “Anyone who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6:57).