But haven’t there been plenty of opportunities for Israel to listen and understand what’s going on? Plenty, I’d say. Preachers’ voices have gone ’round the world, Their message to earth’s seven seas. So the big question is, Why didn’t Israel understand that she had no corner on this message? Moses had it right when he predicted, When you see God reach out to those you consider your inferiors—outsiders!— you’ll become insanely jealous. When you see God reach out to people you think are religiously stupid, you’ll throw temper tantrums. Isaiah dared to speak out these words of God: People found and welcomed me who never so much as looked for me. And I found and welcomed people who had never even asked about me. Then he capped it with a damning indictment: Day after day after day, I beckoned Israel with open arms, And got nothing for my trouble but cold shoulders and icy stares.
But to Israel he saith, All day I stretched out mine hands to a people that believed not, but gainsaid me. [Forsooth to Israel, he saith, All day I stretched out my hands to a people not believing to me, but again-saying to me.]
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