Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last (Isaiah 48:12)
Four times in chapter 48, God calls to His people to “Listen!”
I can almost hear Him sigh with remorse: If only you obeyed my commandments, your peace would have been like a river . . . (verse 18).
You’d think the Israelites would have known better. From the early days of the Judges, to the time of Isaiah’s ministry, Israel’s history ebbed and flowed with periods of peace, followed by rebellion, warning, judgment and, finally repentance.
And the cycle began again.
Do you know people today in the Church, people who should know better, and yet follow in the path of ancient Israel, moving through cycles of peace to rebellion, to judgment and – only then -- repentance?
Yet, all the while, God calls us to listen and obey.
And for good reason.
There is simply no other way to be at peace with God, with ourselves, or with others, than to listen to – and obey -- God. That is what He called Israel to do through the prophets. And that is what He calls to us to do through the words of Holy Scripture and Church teaching.
If only we would listen.