“Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.’ Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on Him.”
“Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
“‘Come now let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 1:2-4 & 16b-20 NIV
Israel, God’s chosen nation, has continued in their rebellion, rituals and hypocrisy. God has raised up the prophet Isaiah to warn, specifically the southern kingdom of Judah, that because of their continual and willfull disobedience, the time is coming when they will be carried off into captivity and their country will be left desolate.
But still…God provides grace and yet “another chance” to those who are repentant and obedient. He calls them to forsake their sinful crimson hypocritical religion and offers in exchange forgiveness that is pure and without blemish.
How many times have I become ritualistic and hypocritical in my spirituality? Acting one way at home and another in front of my friends and/or church family. God sees it all. He knows when my heart is not pure, when it is scarlet with sin.
And yet, He gives me chance after chance after chance to make it right and to receive His pure white forgiveness when I repent and set my heart in tune with His.
He actually calls me like a loving Father talking to his strong-headed daughter: “Come now, let us reason together.” He longs for my heart to be set right again, so we can commune truly together without the ritual and hypocrisy.
You are so amazing! The willingness of Your grace and continual forgiveness blows me away. You call me to You and long for my heart to be in tune with Yours. No pretense, just keeping it real and being obedient to Your will for my life. Thank you for forgiving my stubborn human nature again and again and for covering me with the pure and holy whiteness of your grace and righteousness.
Thank you my loving Father, my King, my Redeemer!
– Beckie (look2thehills)
From the archives. Originally published August 1, 2009.