Let us reason together!
Scripture reading for July 16th: Isaiah 1-4
The book of Isaiah is a rich resource of prophesy and New Testament truth. Jesus Christ said of Isaiah that he “saw My glory and spoke about it.” (John 12:41) Jesus began His ministry quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2 (Luke 4:18-19). His book is considered by some to be a miniature of the Bible as a whole. The first 39 chapters record Isaiah’s messages of judgment. Like the New Testament, the last 27 chapters contain messages of hope!
In the first chapter Isaiah had a four-point sermon outline that went something like this: (A) Charges of sins, (B) Threats of coming judgment, (C) Call to repent, and (D), Promises of restoration if they repented.
Isaiah’s charges against Judah and warnings of judgment could apply to us in the American church today! The people of Judah were delivered from bondage by God himself, but they willfully forgot God. They had turned their backs on God and rebelled against their own Maker! (Isaiah 1:2-9) The consequences were physical afflictions, a land under a drought, and cities burned with fire through war! God likened them to Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities He had destroyed by fire because of their gross wickedness.
God was fed up with their hollow religious meetings and meaningless offerings. He hated their festivals and was burdened by their shows with no substance. He promised to hide his face from them and would not respond to their prayers. (Isaiah 1:10-15)
God called them to repent while there was still time. Their hands were full of blood and needed washing. God was concerned with the needy and weak who were being exploited. (Isaiah 1:16-17) He tried to reason with them about the stain of their sins. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. . .” (Isaiah 1:18) This may be a strong warning that their sin, like leprosy, was quickly taking them towards death. Leprosy turns the skin white and it loses all feeling. Their king, Uzziah, had died of leprosy because of pride and rebellion. (2nd Chronicles 26:16-21)
The fourth point of God’s message promised that if they were willing and obedient, they would eat the best of the land, but if they refused and rebelled against His advice they would be devoured by the sword. The choice we make determines the consequences and future reward or judgment! If we listen closely, God’s reasoning is easy to follow!