My original intent was to work my way through the Bible one chapter at a time this year for our daily devotionals. Of course, there would be the normal interruptions for ministry trips and such, but then like today God puts something in front of you and you just have to post and comment on it.
Chapter CONTEX from MHCC: The first verse of this chapter is intended for a title to the whole book, and it is probable that this was the first sermon that this prophet was appointed to publish and to affix in writing (as Calvin thinks the custom of the prophets was) to the door of the temple, as with us proclamations are fixed to public places, that all might read them (Hab. 2:2), and those that would might take out authentic copies of them, the original being, after some time, laid up by the priests among the records of the temple. The sermon which is contained in this chapter has in it, I. A high charge exhibited, in God’s name, against the Jewish church and nation, 1. For their ingratitude (v. 2, 3). 2. For their incorrigibleness (v. 5). 3. For the universal corruption and degeneracy of the people (v. 4, 6, 21, 22). 4. For the perversion of justice by their rulers (v. 23). II. A sad complaint of the judgments of God, which they had brought upon themselves by their sins, and by which they were brought almost to utter ruin (v. 7-9). III. A just rejection of those shows and shadows of religion which they kept up among them, notwithstanding this general defection and apostasy (v. 10-15). IV. An earnest call to repentance and reformation, setting before them life and death, life if they compiled with the call and death if they did not (v. 16-20). V. A threatening of ruin to those that would not be reformed (v. 24, 28-31). VI. A promise of a happy reformation at last, and a return to their primitive purity and prosperity (v. 25-27). And all this is to be applied by us, not only to the communities we are members of, in their public interests, but to the state of our own souls.
I got this in my inbox after posting “Do Not Neglect Your Bible” and my brain immediately made a connection. You may wonder how in the world…? What is it God called folks to do time and again in the Old Testament before they could rightly worship Him? Cleanse themselves, it was their form of repentance, of washing away the filth of sin before their sacrifices were acceptable to God. The same in a sense is true today. God expects “Christians” to cleanse themselves that is to confess their sins, prior to worshipping the Triune God.
Here in Isaiah (v.2-15) God through the prophet Isaiah lays out the sinful rebellion of the nation of Israel. Basically, God says you failed to follow my Law and twisted it to fit your own fancy, sound familiar? It should because that is what is happening all across America and most parts of the World with folks neglecting their Bibles, neglecting the sound Doctrines that God has laid out in His Holy Word, neglecting to confess their laziness at studying the Word to be an approved workman for God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the way that You have used Israel as an example to us of the importance of purifying our heart and learning all that You want to teach us as we journey through life. I pray that I may shun evil and renounce those things that dishonour Your name and live godly in Christ Jesus – Who is my life and my Salvation – and in Whose name I pray, AMEN.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)