“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:16-18
Scripture reading: Isaiah 1:1-31
Isaiah chapters 1 – 34 are brimming with judgment against the sin and evil that have taken root in the hearts of God’s people. They present a stark picture of God’s righteous anger against sin, reminding His people again and again that God is Holy, Holy, Holy! He is not a God to be recklessly ignored or disobeyed.
Chapter 1 itself is nearly all about God’s judgment. Yet in the middle of God’s strong warning you find these verses of forgiveness and hope: “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool” (1:17-18). They form jewels of gospel hope which shine all the more brilliantly against the dark backdrop of Israel’s sin and rebellion!
You can’t sweep sin under the carpet. Jesus said, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” (Matt. 5:30). You’ve got to learn to be truly serious about sin in the world and in your hearts. But thank God and rejoice that you can do so in the wonderful assurance that, by Christ’s cleansing power, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for a real dying-away of the old self by learning “To be genuinely sorry for sin and more and more to hate and run away from it.” Pray for the rising-to-life of the new self that results in “a love and delight to live according to the will of God by doing every kind of good work.” (Heidelberg Catechism Q&A. 89-90)
Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.