“The statutes of Omri and all the practices of Ahab’s house have been observed; you have followed their policies. Therefore, I will make you a desolate place and the city’s residents an object of contempt; you will bear the scorn of My people.” (vs16) (HCSB)
The scorn of God’s people is discipline because of our sins, so we lose love, joy, and peace because we walk corruptly in the flesh, rather than by faith.
We think that evil is only outward deeds, but we don’t recognize the PRIDE that deceives us and takes from us, because we’re not dealing rightly with God and men. He says, “The voice of the LORD calls out to the city (and it is wise to fear Your name): ‘Pay attention to the rod and the One who ordained it. Are there still the treasures of wickedness and the accursed short measure in the house of the wicked? Can I excuse wicked scales or bags of deceptive weights (vs9-11)?” We have no reason to be proud because all is by grace. Our justification is by the obedience of One Person, our Lord Jesus, and that is our acceptance - not because we chose Him but He chose us (Rom 5:19). Sanctification is the fruit of the gospel! It is not something that we add to or contribute to, but God’s word abides in us, producing fruit. He says, “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one (2 John 2:14).” Perseverance in holiness, overcoming sin, and being useful in the kingdom, even communion with God, are all apart from works of righteousness that we’ve done, but according to His mercy.
There was a widow in the City of Nain, which means “lovely”, and the Lord Jesus is the loveliness of the city, because He comes to us, dead in our sins, and has compassion (Luke 7:11-17). He saves us, causing us to sit up and speak for God, and it is NOT something that we did, contributed to, or maintain; it is God reproving the heart, God giving power to faith, and it is God who keeps us believing. Paul said, “In view of this, we always pray for you that our God will make you worthy of his calling, and by his power fulfill your every desire to do good and your work produced by faith (2 Thess 1:11)”.
We have nothing to add to Christ, lest He be insufficient, and all of our faithfulness is because of Him. Thus, only the humble soul is faithful, and all rest in Christ is God given and fruitful because of it. Song of Solomon 1:16, “How handsome you are, my love. How delightful! Our bed is green”. He doesn’t look to us, nor can we look to ourselves, for a single thing; it is grace - faith is by grace, and good works are by grace, too. “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift (Eph 2:8).” We have nothing to boast of, except Him who loved us and washed us from our sins.
Walk with God in humility, instead of unjustly, and deal with Him and your neighbor by the gospel. If we do not, He says, “For the wealthy of the city are full of violence, and its residents speak lies; the tongues in their mouths are deceitful. As a result, I have begun to strike upi severe;u. Bringing desolation because of your sins (vs12-13).” The cross teaches us that God saves, and we’re to look to Him for the salvation of others, seizing opportunities to preach Christ, but preaching no works based acceptance and preaching no works to increase our acceptance. We are as saved when we sin as when we obey, so do not add to your obedience the stench of merit, or it isn’t obedience but pride masquerading as faith.
God fights against us because we fight Him, exalting ourselves when we should be humbled, and it is a rejection of grace, in its subtle form, taking away our happiness! He says, “You will eat but not be satisfied, for there will be hunger within you. What you acquire, you cannot save, and what you do save, I will give to the sword. You will sow but not reap; you will press olives but not anoint yourself with oil; and you will tread grapes but not drink the wine (vs14-15).” We cannot be at peace, if we war against Him, His Son’s obedience, and His glory. The Spirit only blesses faith in Christ (Gal 3:13-14). Find your sufficiency and all power over sin in Him. Do not add to Him, lest you be found a liar; do not need your own holiness to complete your justification. He says, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Have everything FREE OF CHARGE, in spite of your sin, every day, and you’ll have power to do God’s commandments: You’ll also have the joy and peace that’s from believing.
Put the flesh to death by faith, rather than by willpower... by what you don’t deserve, rather than by what you do.