Daily D – Isaiah 1:18-19
Isaiah 1:18, 19 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; . . .”
What does God want your you? Only what is best for you and for everyone else.
This text from Isaiah 1 has been preached, taught, and memorized by generations of multitudes. It is worth committing to memory if you have not done so already. You will find it both convicting and comforting. You will discover how God uses conviction of sin to bring us into his comforting forgiveness and perfect love.
Let’s focus on the last sentence above: “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; . . .”
Our Father in heaven knows what is best for us. He knows the results and consequences associated with every action we take or consider. He leads us toward those things most loving, most enduring, and most wonderful.
Our adversary promises better things through powerful lust, intense moments, and misspent lives. He doesn’t mention how these alternative opportunities lead to the second half of verse 19: “‘but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
“Whatever you do,” my old professor said, “there will be results.” Which results do you prefer? What kind of consequences do you desire?
You may feel dirty and disgusting. You may feel like God could never love anyone like you. God’s whisper here should come in loud and clear like a shout from the heavens: “I love you. I will cleanse you. I will provide for you all the good things you could ever need or desire.”
Punishment is not God’s first choice. Punishment is what he allows us to receive when we deliberately and determinedly direct our lives ourselves no matter how good he is to us. Ultimately, God gives us what we want. The question is, I suppose, do you want more of God and his goodness, or more of a hell of your own creation?
Our Father in heaven offers us a settled disposition of deep, abiding, abundant living overflowing with mercy and grace. This is what he wants for you now and forever. Life is about as good as we want it to be.
I will live the good life.
Our Father, my heart is settled. I want what you want for me. Wash me. Cleanse me. Purify my heart and mind. Place your thoughts in my mind, your words in my mouth. Give me your desires. Deliver me from evil. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”