THE WAYWARD MAN

By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)


INTRODUCTION

The wayward man is resistant to guidance and is self-willed; with the moral compass of such having been cast aside.  Similar characteristics are:  Adrift, carnal, loose morals, and unstable as water. 

Scripture reveals: The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceases: he has broken the covenant, he has despised the cities, he regards no man (Isaiah 33:8).


The Wayward Man
Not Attentive to God's Word

In reference to the highways lying waste notes that those of Isaiah's day were not attentive to the ministry of the Word or keeping the ordinances of the Lord.  The wayfaring (wayward man) ceases refers to the cessation of religious worship; the sabbath being kept but not of a religious nature.

Scripture reveals a spiritual blindness: The Lord said, this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men (Isaiah 29:13). 

A Bible commentary noted: The prophet condemns his own people for honoring God with their mouth and lips but not their heart.  He further noted that their fear or reverence was merely an intellectual accommodation taught by the precepts of men.  True worship must began with a proper reverence for God and His Word.  

 A Noble Vine
A Degenerate Plant

The results of sin prompted this question:  Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods?  But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be astonished, O you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be you very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:11-13). 

A Bible commentary noted: The figure of the fountain of living waters emphasizes that God alone can bring the life and refreshment necessary to the thirsty soul.  Israel had left the purity of the living waters for the pollution of contaminated broken cisterns that offered no water at all.  Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backsliding shall reprove you: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and that my fear (dread of me) is not in you, saith the Lord God of hosts (Jeremiah 2:19).

Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then are you turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me (Jeremiah 2:21)? Israel had become as a wayward man disoriented from the truth; resistant to guidance from on High, walking in their own desired path, as that of the heathen nations round them, drifting away from God.

Downward Spiral

We are seeing the downward spiral of many churches as they embrace the worldliness concept of indulgence; with many once godly nations allowing the ungodliness of man to infiltrate and become acceptable rather than rejected.  There are inroads being laid; along with rulings and judgments issued, that has placed such in great peril!  When an individual or nation comes into the wayward man status; they become resistant to guidance, disobedient to God's Word, perverse and willful in their ungodly conduct.

President Abraham Lincoln said: We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in pace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God.  

We have forgotten the gracious hand that preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these things were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

Deliverance of the
Wayward Man

In reference to a Messiah (Deliverer), the prophet Isaiah said:  Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm (power) of the Lord revealed (Isaiah 53:1).  In this verse we see the Messiah, the Son of God, who alone can atone for sin.  However, His message of deliverance is rejected by the wayward man.  

Scripture reveals: All we like sheep have gone astray (as the wayward man); we have turned every man to his own way; and the Lord (God) has laid on him (the Lord Jesus Christ), the iniquity (sin) of us all (Isaiah 53:6).  A Bible commentary noted: All have gone astray illustrates the desperate condition of mankind, lost, and without a shepherd (referring to the Lord Jesus Christ).

One does not have to remain in the wayward man category; resistant to guidance from on High, perverse in nature, adrift, and self-willed, but can become freed by becoming a child of God though the Lord Jesus Christ!  Scripture reveals: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). 

He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides (remains) on him (John 3:36).  The choice lies with each individual; everyone is accountable for their own final destiny.

Invitation Extended

Jesus extended an invitation to all:  Behold, I stand at the door and knock (the door of one's heart); if any man hear my voice, and open the door (only you can), I will come into to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20). 

Scripture reveals: If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead then shall you be saved (Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection are established in God's Word).  For with the heart man believes unto righteousness (being right with God): and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10).  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13)!

If you are of the the wayward man category; it is my prayer that you will openly seek to know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, inviting Him into your heart and life, being refreshed in the presence of His Spirit, for a lifetime of fellowship and throughout eternity!  I accepted that invitation 42 years ago and have been dining with the personage of Jesus ever since that eventfully day!

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