July 9 (Daily reading: Isaiah 1-4) “Come now and let us reason together” (1:18). Isaiah invited his readers to stop and reflect on their relationship with God, and what God expected from them. God through Isaiah made some statements that would have been shocking to the people of that time: “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me? … I have had enough of burnt offerings … assemblies … festivals … feasts … incense is an abomination to Me;” God concluded: “Bring your worthless offerings no longer” (1:11-14). God could not even hear their prayers because of their sins! Does this mean God made a mistake when he gave all the rules about sacrifices and burnt offerings? No, because those things were meant to be done in worship—recognizing God’s supremacy! They were to be done from the heart!
We return to verse 18: “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” Isaiah could not have known the full meaning of what he wrote, even though he wrote in detail about the sufferings of the Messiah in Isaiah 53. How would our lives, scarlet with sin, become white as snow? We jump to the end of the Bible, where it says about the redeemed: “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). Because Jesus shed His blood on the cross, Paul wrote: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). And John explained the purpose of His shed blood: “…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!
– Al Gary