I don’t do a lot of things the way I’m expected to. I still get chastised though I’m out of the steamy breath of religion. My children even notice some of the pressure to conform to a mindless chant that insults the Spirit’s song. I might be “rebellious” to some, but not for naught. My lack of conformity is a blunt refusal to accept the counterfeit faith that exhausts and stupefies. I refuse to play along.
And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.– Isaiah 30:8 ESV
What could possibly be written then, now, and then again that would always be for now like it was then and will be all over again? A resounding hammer, a closed file, a waiting prison door? We’ll always be found guilty. But, not for what you think.
For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord. – Isaiah 30:9 ESV
‘If it’s negative and oppressive, then it must be from the Lord. Rebellious hearts, take heed. Lying children, listen up. Lest you get struck down for your unwillingness to listen.‘ That’s the good stuff they want. A resounding hammer of judgment and unending demands. People want bridles and bits. Parents want obedience and submission. Leadership requires conforming volunteers.
What are these instructions to which the rebellious children are so unwilling to listen? Why are some messages rejected and others craved? Who are the rebellious children and what illusions do they want?
…who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things. Prophesy illusions.” – Isaiah 30:10 ESV
The whole of scripture is the story of Jesus. It is an all-inclusive, one-way-street salvation with no respect for origin, successes, failures, social worth, or status. When the Bible talks about rebellion, it’s talking about do-it-yourself religion. Salvation without Jesus, or perfection of the “saved life” through self-control and more discipline. People like to make rebellion about personal failures and shoulder-shrugs to morality, but it’s not. It’s about accepting or rejecting “the Holy One of Israel”.
Real rebellion wants to over-achieve. As though that was a thing. They call it “depth” and the opposite, “seeker”. They’ve heard enough about Jesus. They want something more. As though that was a thing.
“…leave the way. Turn aside from the path. Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 30:11 ESV
When the Bible talks about rebellion, it’s talking about that overwhelming urge to turn from freedom to a formula. This is one of those groups that feel the pressure to uphold the stereotype. The oversimplification of this life is insulting, and it’s especially repulsive when it’s perpetuated by people claiming to be the example. The so-called admission of “flaws” includes a list of candied sins rather than the admission of still learning how to live in the Kingdom while inhabiting the flesh.
They want a small cage because that means maybe their worst won’t get their best. Fear is a roaming beast. But the Kingdom life is wide open, big enough to suck you up and make you disappear forever. Your name echoes on laughter’s lips and that seems too easy.
Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, “Because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you…” – Isaiah 30:12 ESV
The impending doom of walls caving in and smashing you like a piece of clay are the price you pay for not trusting.
“…like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant; and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern.” – Isaiah 30:13-14 ESV
“Perverse” in this context means “contrary to the Way”. This list of things you have to do if you want to call yourself a Christian is a wicked trap. You can never be good enough and you’re free from the petty tyranny of trying. Trying earns you a sentence of guilt with no grace. Get away from anyone who tells you that you have to do something else. There is a Holy Spirit who speaks your language and the largest part of life is learning how to hear Him.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” –Isaiah 30:15 ESV