Daily Scripture reading for the week is at the end of the page.
Dr. June Normil
Isaiah's message focused on how the Lord was at work to save all who would turn to Him. In this opening vision, the Lord rebuked the rebellious people of Judah for their sin (Isaiah 1:2-4). The Lord raised them up as a people and had been faithful to keep His promises to them. In spite of the Lord's goodness, they rebelled. Their rebellion is contrasted to oxen who recognized and submit to their owners and donkeys who know their safety and care is found in their owner's stable. Isaiah spoke of the people's suffering due to their unfaithfulness (Isaiah 1:5-9). Only the Lord's mercy kept them from being wiped out, as Sodom and Gomorrah had been. INJUSTICE PREVAILS ( Isaiah 1:21-23). Judah was portrayed as an unfaithful wife because the people were worshipping idols. Judah was once known as a place of justice and righteousness, but corrupt leaders had allowed injustice to flourish. They were not providing justice for the poor and powerless. Instead they accepted bribes and gifts. They had become self-serving, forgetting, they were answerable to God. When a society abandons the welfare of its most vulnerable members, injustice will prevail. When the rights of the poor and powerless are disregarded, wickedness will increase, leading to a decline in morality and the loss of hope.
[REACT] ? What can cause people who have experienced the goodness of the Lord to turn away from Him?
CALL TO REPENTANCE AND CLEANSING (ISAIAH 1:16-17)
The Lord called for the people to repent (Isaiah 1:16-17). These commands bring out the urgency of what God is commanding. He instructed them to change, Those who do wrong have the moral responsibility to change their ways. Repentance is a change of mind that acknowledges how sin defiles the sinner; and so, repentance is reflected by a change in behavior. The Lord cleanses those who repent. The Lord revealed several results of true repentance. The people needed to stop the evil they were doing and start doing what is right instead of taking advantage of others. Promoting the welfare of others is evidence of a changed heart. PROMISE OF CLEANSING (ISAIAH 1:18-20). The Lord called on the people to "reason together" (Isaiah 1:18; "settle the matter"), this is, to reach the obvious conclusion to what He has been saying. If they will repent, cleansing from sin is promised. God was assuring the people that repentance would bring cleansing that would make them pure--as white as snow and as untainted as undyed wood. God could forgive and cleanse them of any sin. Worshipping and serving the Lord would lead to bountiful blessings (Isaiah 1:19), but continued rebellion would bring judgment (verse 20). The promise of cleansing is for all. Jesus provided cleansing from sin by His sacrificial death on the cross (Ephesian 1:7). All who confess and repent of their sins will be forgiven and cleansed (1 John 1:9).
[REACT] ? What would you say to someone who thinks their sins are so terrible they could never be forgiven?
The phrase "Lord of hosts" could also be translated "Lord of armies." Unlike idols, He was able to bring the judgment He decreed. The "mighty One of Israel" was another reminder of His strength. No one can stop the Lord when He chooses to act, In the past God had moved against the enemies of His people, but now His hand would be turned against His people in judgment (verse 25), resulting in cleansing. Jerusalem would again be known for righteousness and faithfulness. God would restore justice and righteousness for those who repented (verse 27). But those who continued in their rebellion would perish (verses 28-31). WALK IN THE LIGHT ISAIAH 2:1-5). Isaiah's vision in chapter 1 promised forgiveness and restoration if the people would repent and warned that judgment would come if they continued in their unfaithfulness. Chapter 2 begins another vision, which opens with hope for those who will be redeemed and restored (2:1). This hope looks to the last days when Jesus will come to reestablish true worship and rule in peace (verses 2-4). During the millennial reign of Christ, true worship at the temple of the Lord will be practice (2:2). All nations will be drawn to worship and serve the one true God.
Gor refers to people of Judah as chtldren who have rebelled. our relationship with god is also broken by rebellion and disobedience. Even after our repentance, our relationship with Him must grow. his correction and discipline are proof of His ongoing love for us.
LIVING IT OUT: (1). Examine your heart and repent of anything displeasing to God. (2). Pray for those around you who do not have a relationship with God. (3). Share the hope of salvation with someone this week.
REPENT AND BE CONVERTED!
Copyright Reference: Radiant Life, Volume 102 Number 2 Dec. Jan. Feb. 2020-21 by Gospel Publishing House, 1445 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Mo 65802.
Dr. June Normil