Psalms 87, 125; Isaiah 1:1-4:6
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
This beautiful verse has been an encouragement to me more than once over the years. But I didn’t realize until today that the verse actually begins with, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord”.
Let’s think about this, God says. The first 17 verses of this chapter talk about God’s frustrations – his loathing – for religion. He’s sick of their sacrifices and hates their religious festivals. They follow God’s instructions for these things to the letter but their hearts are full of sin.
They put on a good show. But God is not fooled.
Verses 19&20 remind us that if we are willing (which involves a conscious choice) and obedient (which involves more than just going to church), then we will be blessed. It goes on to remind us that if we resist (which also involves a choice) and rebel (which comes from the heart), we will suffer the consequences.
So yes, God promises to forgive sin and wipe the slate clean with Jesus’ blood.
Once again God makes it plain that he’s got conditions. Good people, religious people will go to hell unless they accept Jesus as their Savior. There is no other way to the Father.
Let’s be reasonable about our beliefs. Let’s make a conscious, informed choice to follow God today, to repent of sin and accept forgiveness through his Son. God hates it when we just go through the motions.
Dear God, I pray that your children will come to you in Spirit and Truth, that we will choose Jesus and accept his work on the cross in a purposeful, meaningful way. Help us not to follow you blindly, but reasonably and honestly. May our actions reflect our heart’s relationship with you. Bless us and make us a blessing to someone who needs you today.