Reading through the Bible together
In Isaiah chapter 1 the prophet is shown God speaking with His people who have broken the covenant promise they made with Him. It’s like a court scene – God is the Judge and heaven and earth the witnesses (v.2). The people’s evil doings are listed as the reason for the horrible judgments. But lest we want to give up on the people, we are reminded that there is a small remnant left who are true to God (v.9).
The scene changes and we are shown that the same people who are described as having “no soundness” and as having “putrefying sores” (v.6) are blindly going through the outward motions of worship and prayers (vs.13-15), not realizing their need of a Saviour!
As we’re ready to cry out that the Israelite situation back then is hopeless and their judgment should be destruction, our minds turn to ourselves and our times. Oh no!! Lord, are we breaking our covenant with You to be Your children exclusively? Or are we following after the “gods” of our times? Is our worship just following the forms and we have no personal relationship with the God we made the covenant with?
Our hearts are breaking when God steps in with a message of love and mercy. Our minds fill with fog as we read verses 16-20. Is this message for the people in 8th century B.C. (700’s) or is it for us? Oh, thank you Jesus, it’s for all times!
Prayer: Yes Lord, cleanse us. Please cover the record of our sins like the barren earth is covered with freshly fallen snow (v.18). We want to give You our whole heart! Help us to share Your love with those around us – seeking justice and defending the helpless (v.17 contrary to v.23). Empower us to be Your willing and obedient children (v.19) so that we can be among the redeemed (v.27) and not among those who will receive Your final judgment (v.31).
Heaven’s response: “As you draw near to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw near to you with mercy and forgiveness” (SC, 55).
Lloyd and Sheila Schomburg