Isaiah 1:18-20 NLT “Come now, let us argue this out,” says the LORD. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool. If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. Bit if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
Isaiah had been given a vision from the Lord of the depravity of His people, Israel. He said in Isaiah 1:4:
Oh, what a sinful nation they are! They are loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil and corrupt children who have turned away from the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel, cutting themselves off from his help.
Isaiah went on to describe the deepness of their sin. The Lord told him that Israel was sick from head to foot! (Isaiah 1:6) He went on to say that they were acting like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, and yet continuing to offer sacrifices unto the Lord. They were continuing to worship God as if nothing was wrong; they couldn’t see that He was sick of their play-acting and wanted nothing more of their useless sacrificing. It was after God had spoken of their depravity and how He despised their pretense in worship that He gave them the call to repent in Isaiah 1:18-20. No matter how deep their sins were if they would only come to Him He would wash them away. As long as there is breath in a person’s body if they will turn from their sin, God will forgive them and cleanse them from all unrighteousness. It is only as a person rebels and refuses to come to Him that he is doomed to destruction. “But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies.”
I got up this morning with this portion of Scripture running through my mind, especially Isaiah 1:18: NKJV “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.”
God is always there waiting for people to turn to Him. He doesn’t want people to be destroyed by their sin. He is anxious for a person to come to Him and repent so He can turn the tides of the consequences of their sin and bless them instead. There are consequences as God lined them out in Isaiah 1:19, 20: “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”. A person must be willing and obedient in order for the blessing of God to come upon his life.
Samuel told King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22, 23:
So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
God sees obedience to Him as better than sacrificial worship, or in our modern day you might say that God views our obedience to Him in knowing Him and walking according to His principles as we gain understanding through relationship than our ritualistic worship that shows only a form of godliness but denies the power that comes through Him living through a person.
Jesus said this about eternal life in John 17:3:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
He prayed for His disciples and those who would follow after them, meaning you and me and all that come to Him until the day that He returns again, that we would understand that eternal life is not going to church on Sunday or living by a set of rules or regulations, but it is in knowing God, having a living and vital relationship with Him. The obedience to His ways springs from the heart as you draw near to Him through relationship; through coming into His presence and spending time with Him. It is then that He can change your heart and your desires become His desires. But in order for that to happen a person must be willing and obedient! As long as a person, or a nation, continues to choose their own ways in fulfilling their own lustful desires the end will eventually come and they will reap the consequences of their choices.
America is on a slippery path right now. The nation is in the balance as we have seen through this week’s election. As Israel was in the time of Isaiah, so America is going. We are sick from the head to the foot as God described Israel in that day. But it’s not too late for America to turn back to the Lord. But for Americans to be saved they have to have a people who know God that can show them the way to salvation. And yet some believers are living the same sinful lives as those who don’t know the Lord. Peter said that the beginning of God’s appointed time for judgment of sin would begin in God’s house first.
2 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Beloved, it’s time for us to get serious with God. Will we be as Paul described to Timothy as people in the last days who “having a form of godliness but denying its power”? Will we be a people who profess to know the Lord but only give Him service one day a week and the rest of the time live according to our own fleshly desires? How long will our nation be able to continue as it’s going? Is the salvation of America dependent upon the prayers of God’s people?
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaving, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
It’s God’s people that hold the key to the salvation of our land. Isaiah said of the pending destruction of his people in Isaiah 1:9: “If the LORD Almighty had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The question now is, “will God’s people humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from THEIR wicked ways” so we can hear from Heaven and have Him save our land?
The Lord told Isaiah in Isaiah 1:27: Because the LORD is just and righteous, the repentant people of Jerusalem will be redeemed.
God is just and righteous and He stands true to His word. If we will return to Him in repentance we will be redeemed, we will be saved.
Father, I come before You this morning in repentance for the sins that I have committed before You. Lord, I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness in my life. Father, I desire to see our people saved from destruction. I pray that You will have mercy upon us, Father, and that You will continue to give America time to repent and turn from her lustful desires. Father, I pray that Your Spirit will move upon the hearts of Your people that we all might come into agreement for the good of our nation. I pray that we might stand in the gap for those who have been deceived and are perishing in their sin. Father, may Your people rise up and become the people of God that offer the way of salvation to the lost. May we be the light that draws people to Jesus; the salt that preserves our people for righteousness. Father, move on our hearts before it is too late and bring us all to salvation, a living and vital relationship with You through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that You will see our hearts and hear our cries for help in this day and hour, Father, and come to our rescue. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
For those of you who may be reading this blog and realize that you have really never come into a relationship with the Lord Jesus. You may be a religious person but you really don’t “know” Him the way a relationship is with another person. Jesus is a person who when invited into your life, comes in through the presence of His Spirit and lives within your innermost being. He desires to fellowship with you, to walk and talk with you, just as a mate would do. Ritualistic church attendance is not having a relationship with God; it is a form of godliness but the power comes through a relationship with Him. If you would like to have that relationship with Jesus today I would like to help you pray to receive Him into your life. Pray with me now and sincerely mean this in your heart:
Father, I realize that my life has been lived my way and for my own desires. I have sinned against You. I have shut you out of my life and lived according to the ways that I wanted instead of the way You wanted me to live. I acknowledge that I am wrong, that I have sinned against You and that my sin has separated me from You for eternity. I ask You to forgive me, to come into my life, to make a difference in me and to save me from my sin. I believe that You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for me, that You raised Him from the dead to live again and I confess Him as my Lord and Savior. I thank You for saving me! From this day forward I vow to live for You, to live with You as I develop my relationship with You and to proclaim Your salvation to the world around me. Thank You for being my Savior and Lord! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.