July 9. Isaiah 1 - 4.
A simple definition of appreciate: to recognize the full worth; to highly regard. How do you feel when you are appreciated? How does it feel when you are not appreciated? What keeps people from showing you the appreciation that you deserve?
When you learn of someone and truly get to know them that is when you also learn to appreciate them and what they do. Typically, it is easier to draw a conclusion and make a summary of a person(s) based on your first impressions or observations of an individual, rather than take the time to develop a relationship that leads to learning who that person truly is.
Do you appreciate God? If you find it hard to appreciate Him or to find things to be appreciative of, how would that change if you knew Him better?
The book of Isaiah was written during the time of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. Recorded in those historical books are many chapters of leaders, nations and even God’s children, the nation of Israel, not knowing God and definitely not living in a way that showed appreciation to Him for all that He had done for them.
Isaiah 1:2 Listen, O heaven and earth, to what the Lord is saying: The children I raised and cared for so long and tenderly have turned against me. 3 Even the animals—the donkey and the ox—know their owner and appreciate his care for them, but not my people Israel. No matter what I do for them, they still don’t care.
So how do you know God? How do you know anything? You have to learn of Him. You have to care to learn. You have to care to learn of God.
1:17 Learn to do good, to be fair, and to help the poor, the fatherless, and widows.
You learn to know someone by talking with them; spending time with them. It is no different with learning of God. Sure you need to read about Him in His Word, the Scriptures, but you should be talking to Him also. Talking and listening. Listening and talking. Knowing.
The other day I was helping to feed the homeless. First glance of Frankie and first impression would have drawn many wrong conclusions. But as I stood in line with him and talked to him, and listened to him, I learned part of his story. What I learned of him, moved my heart and I could truly feel care and compassion for him and appreciate him as a human being. It did not take long.
1:18 Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.
No one appreciates not being appreciated. God did not like it. How do you stop the lack of appreciation? Knowledge of the person. God is good. God is love. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Learn about Him. Know Him. Appreciate Him.