A Matter of the Heart
Category : General
Isaiah 55: 7 (KJV)
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
It has been concluded that all of us by nature are in a state of departure from God, and of subjection to sin.
In this verse we are told what is necessary in order to seek God and to return to Him, and the encouragement which we have to do it. The first step is for the sinner to forsake his way. He must come to a solemn pause and resolve to abandon all his transgressions. His evil course; his vices; his corrupt practices; and his dissipated companions, must be forsaken.
The word for “wicked” signifies restless, troublesome, and ungodly, and is expressive of the pollution and guilt of sin all are under. Here we find that the “wicked” sins more openly in “his way”; the “unrighteous” refers to the more subtle workings of sin in the “thoughts.” Some are notoriously wicked, but all men are wicked in the account of God, though they may think otherwise themselves; and they become so their own apprehensions, when they are thoroughly awakened and convinced of sin, and of the evil of their ways, and are enabled to forsake them: though this may also be understood of “his own way” of saving himself, which is by works of righteousness he has done, in opposition to God’s way of saving men by Jesus Christ; which way of his own must be relinquished, and Christ alone must be applied unto, and laid hold on, for salvation.
Again, we see that by three forms of expression Isaiah describes the nature of repentance, — 1st, “Let the wicked man forsake, his way;” 2ndly, “The unrighteous man his thoughts;” 3rdly, “Let him return to the Lord.” Under the word way he includes the whole course of life, and accordingly demands that they bring forth the fruits of righteousness as witnesses of their newness of life. It is imperative that we know and understand that all are guilty in the latter respect, though many fancy themselves safe, because not openly “wicked in ways” (Ps.94:11). The parallelism is that of gradation. The progress of the penitent is to be from negative reformation, “forsaking his way,” and a farther step, “his thoughts,” to positive repentance, “returning to the Lord” (the only true repentance, Zec.12:10), and making God his God, along with the other children of God (the crowning point; appropriation of God to ourselves: “to our God”). “Return” implies that man originally walked with God but has apostatized. Isaiah saith, “our God,” the God of the believing Israelites; those themselves redeemed desire others to come to their God (Ps.34:8; Rev.22:17).
So, the reality of this verse is explained by adding the word thoughts. This is to drive the point home that we must not only correct outward actions, but must begin with the heart; for although in the opinion of men we appear to change our manner of life for the better, yet we shall have made little proficiency if the heart be not changed. It is a matter of the heart!
Have a great and God filled day!