Tonight I am tired.
The window unit kicks on and blows cold, wet air on me.
But I can't sleep. It's still too hot.
My husband is snoring away upstairs. Yes, he snores. Only occasionally, only very faintly, but I suspect he's acclimating me to consistent bedtime "music." Probably, by the time he's sixty, it will be like he's operating a buzz-saw right next to me every night, but I won't even notice. I'm like the frog in a pot of gradually warming water...
I have a sneaking suspicion I snore, too. I woke myself up the other night with a snort. It's only the beginning. Old age is creeping in. Soon we'll just be two peaceful buzz-saw-ers. Sleeping side by side. Amidst a cacophony of snorts. But for now...
I can't sleep. I'm tired... But no sleep.
Did you know that God gets tired?
I'm not joking.
God actually says, "I am weary."
(Yes, I know. Infinite power, infinite stamina, infinite control... he doesn't really get tired. But wait. He does.)
The people of Judah are beaten. Demolished. Wracked by war. In desperation, they turn to God.
And they exhaust Him.
Every day, in and out of His courts they come. Sacrifices, special feasts, sacred holidays... the whole nine yards. They do it all. You do church on Sunday morning? Good for you. Now do it Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, and reserve Friday nights for special dinners. Make Christmas bigger. Observe Easter more. Do. It. All. Do it more. Put on your holy face. Wear your fancy clothes. Serve everywhere.
And you will make God tired.
In Isaiah 1, God is done. He is fed up. His precious people? He compares them to Sodom and Gomorrah: two cities that He burned. With fire. From heaven. Yikes.
Why? Because they were off throwing raucous parties? Because they ignored Him? Because they didn't wear the right clothes? Because they forgot to visit the temple?
Because they did visit the temple. Listen to all these people were doing. It's a little exhausting. One wonders when they got a vacation from all this "holiness." They were doing:
multitude of sacrifices,
burnt offerings of rams,
blood of bulls/goats/lambs,
frequent appearances in His temple (so frequent and so well-attended, he calls it "trampling"),
new moon celebrations,
They were doing it all.
Isn't that what God wanted?
God says, "I have had enough.... I do not delight [in this]... [it is] an abomination to me...I cannot endure... my soul hates [this]...they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them."
They made God tired with their goodness.
Because, you see, God never wanted all that. He doesn't want church, and good behavior, and pious songs, and holy faces. He doesn't care how many service projects you've done or how many times you've said, "I'll pray for you."
He wants purity.
He wants brokenness.
He wants true, raw, honest repentance.
He wants life change.
He wants sin to be relinquished.
Learn to do good.
Then all those other things? The church, the serving, the prayer? Well, I suspect they come quickly after the repentance. But then, when they come, they will flow from joy and delight in God, rather than from a desire to manipulate Him.
“Come now, 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 become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
You don't have to do that on your own... All of that striving, all that work... God just wants a broken heart, hands wide-spread, and humility in the air. He will do the hard work of removing your sins. Just come. Just ask. Just bow down. Plead for clean. Plead for change. Plead for a broken heart. Ask to be repentant. Sometimes we don't want that. God knows. He will strengthen any desire, no matter how feeble. Just ask... Ask to be willing.
Next to me, my Bible sits open. God has been hammering me recently. Working me over. Disciplining my soul. He's asking me for tenderness, for consistency. He's peeling away layer after layer after layer of disgusting, calloused sin. And just when I think I'm raw, broken, and completely humbled, He finds another layer. It's not pretty. It's nasty. And it's really, really painful.
But this tenderness? This quiet resting in Him? This deepening understanding of my God? It's worth it. It's amazing. It's revitalizing.
Pray for revival.
It may be brutal.
But you're going to love it.
Otherwise, please feel free to exhaust an infinite God... It's not a new game. And it's pretty easy to play.