I Cannot Away With Is. 1:13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Isaiah 1:13, we read an expression that is not so common today. The Lord said, regarding Judah’s oblations, incense, new moons and Sabbaths, “I cannot away with.” At first, the expression on its own doesn’t seem to make much sense. Of course, when you read the expression in its context, you can make out what the Lord is saying. It is obvious that he is sick of their pious sacrifices to gain his favor [Is 1:10-15].
While the expression, I cannot away with, is not in common use today, it was years ago. It was an expression of dislike or aversion toward something or someone. It was commonly used in literature. We use an expression that is very similar to it, today. We say, “I cannot go along with that.”
For instance, one man makes a proposal or an offer to another man to which the second man will not agree. Years ago the second man could have said, “I cannot away with your offer,” meaning that he didn’t like the offer. Today the second man could say, “I cannot go along with your offer,” meaning that he doesn’t like the offer or that he is not willing to obligate himself to the deal. In both expressions, the phrases, “away with” or “go along with” are idioms, since the meaning is not deductible from the individual words. But the meaning of each idiom is clear.
The idea in both expressions is that the second man is not content with the first man or the first man’s offer or proposal. And in Isaiah 1:13, the Lord was not content with Israel’s sacrifices. He was not going along with them anymore. As Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
This brings up an interesting parallel to the way Christians are living and churches are preaching, teaching and worshipping the Lord today. In an oversimplified statement, many Christians are doing what they want to do not what God wants them to do and many churches have become communities of men and women doing what they want to do in the name of the Lord rather than what God wants them to do. In other words, many Christians and churches are carnal rather than spiritual and God cannot away with them – that is he isn’t going along with the way they are living any more than he went along with the way Judah was living and “worshipping” in Isaiah 1.
2 Cor 6:14-18 is a passage that is unmistakably clear on the subject of a Christian’s separation from the world. Likewise, 1 Cor 5:7-11 is perfectly clear on how to balance that separation when evangelizing sinners and cutting off errant members. Many Christians and churches today no longer deal with righteousness and unrighteousness or belief and infidelity. Instead, they promote acceptance of and love toward all sinners, regardless whether they are saved or lost. And they refuse to preach or teach on holiness, separation, righteousness, judgment, temperance, chastisement or sin.
The Lord would say about the rock concerts called worship services and the psychological, motivational, acceptance speeches called preaching and the “love God, love people” philosophy called ministry and the worldliness that is called relevance… I cannot away with – I cannot go along with it.
Many churches today are doing what men do and calling it “God’s will” and calling it “good.” God would ask them what he asked Judah, “When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts” [Is 1:12]? In other words, “Are you worshipping me this way because that’s what I want or because that’s what you want?” You already know the answer to that question. This movement in Christianity today is better named “apostasy” not “emergent” [2 Thes 2:3].
We know from Acts 2:42-47 that the early church was assembled together and we know from Heb 10:25 that we are to be assembled together. But we also know from Rev 3:14-18 that the church of the Laodiceans was rebuked by God because they thought they were right when God knew they were wrong. They thought that they were better than they really were. They were blinded by their own prosperity and success as many modern Christians and churches are today. (NOTE: Laodicea means: Laos = the common people; dikaios = righteousness; Laodicea = the rights of the people or “every man did that which was ‘right’ in his own eyes,” [Jud 17:6; Prov 21:2]).
God cannot away with or go along with the current movement today. It is a movement away from the extremes of righteousness and unrighteousness, light and dark, and godliness and idolatry into the abyss of lukewarm cooperation with the world. And God says to the churches in that condition, “I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Churches and Christians who are following men into apostasy instead of following God into holiness make God sick.
In your Christian life you need to be absolutely certain that you are doing those things that please and glorify God, right down to the things you eat and drink, the clothes you wear and the music you love [1 Cor 10:31; 1 Tim 2:9-10; Eph 5:19-20]. When you think the things you do and love are acceptable because that’s “what everyone else is doing and loving” you are completely deceived and utterly wrong. You’d better learn what God goes along with and go along with that.