Tag: Branch of the Lord
Scripture reading for July 17th: Isaiah 1-4
Isaiah is one of the major prophets of the Old Testament and his writing contains a rich treasure of revelation concerning God’s plans to redeem His people and send the Messiah. He spoke and wrote these words from about 722 BC to 681 BC. As we begin this book, it would be helpful to take a moment to ask the Lord for His guidance in understanding and applying it to our lives as 21st century followers of Christ.
The first vision of Isaiah recorded in today’s readings concerned Judah and Jerusalem. “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.” (Isaiah 1:4) People reap what they sow and God does nothing without warning His people by the prophets. (Amos 3:7) God sent Isaiah various visions to warn these backslidden people of the coming wrath. He told them of the desolate land and burned cities that would result. (Isaiah 1:7-9) He warned them that only God’s mercy could save them from becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah!
These people attended to the temple and sacrifices, but God was not honored or pleased! They offered prayers and sacrifices, but did evil in His sight. They oppressed the widow and orphan and shed innocent blood. Religion without repentance is hypocrisy and only wearies the Lord. (Isaiah 1:11-15) God’s warning was clear and concise!
“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 1:18-20)
God’s people needed to listen and use their heads. God offered cleansing from these deep stains of sin if they would be humble and willing to change. If they refused and rebelled, they would be devoured by the sword. God is offering to reason with people today as well. Many need to heed His offer of grace through Jesus Christ. The way is narrow that leads to life and blessing but broad that leads to destruction. Let those crimson stains be made white as snow!