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Message of the Day: Only True Repentance and Obedience Can Restore Our Relationship With God

“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 1:18, NKJV)

This frightful indictment seems to belong to the middle period of Hezekiah’s reign, after the fall of the northern kingdom, when the Assyrians had invaded Judah and had carried away a large part of its population, so that Jerusalem alone was left. Hezekiah’s reforms had barely scratched the surface of the rotten life of the people. The dreaded Assyrian tornado was drawing ever closer and closer.

But it made no difference. The diseased nation, instead of cleansing itself, only paid more meticulous attention to the camouflage of devotion to religious services. The people thought they were pleasing God by offering sacrifices, attending public worship services, and keeping the special Israelite feasts; but because their everyday lives were full of sin, their religious exercises were hateful to God. No matter how correct the form of worship, God will not accept it unless the people show a corresponding zeal for right behavior.

The people must turn from their selfishness and treachery, and begin to show love and honesty in their everyday dealings if they want to be pleasing to God. He is ready and able to cleanse them, but whether he will depends on them. They must be willing to stop pleasing themselves and obey him instead.

Isaiah’s scathing denunciation of their hypocritical religiosity reminds us of Jesus’ merciless condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23). The point is that making a show of religiosity is of no avail. Only genuine repentance and obedience would save them.

Though our sins appear as deep-stained, and as permanent as the fast color of crimson in wool, yet if we start showing love, sincerity and honesty; if we truly repent and obey God, we will be forgiven – the stain will be taken away we will be restored to our relationship with God.

Sources:

Halley, Henry H. Halley’s Bible Hanbook. ePub Format. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2000.

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

Olive Tree Bible Software, 1998-2020.

http://www.biblegateway.com

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