Israel, God’s beloved child so often stubborn in disobedience, rebelled throughout the land at the time of Isaiah’s prophecies. Evil abounded, justice was neglected, and the orphans and widows were abused.
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
Worst of all, the hearts of the Lord’s people had turned away from their Savior and Deliverer.
Word of Warning
God, however, was not content to simply destroy them. Not content to allow His righteous anger to be poured out on all the wickedness and injustice occurring in the land. Never mind that He had every right, as Creator and Lord, to do so! Was it not what the “children given to corruption” deserved?
“Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.” Isaiah 1:4 (emphasis added)
Instead, the Lord provided warnings for the people and stooped to their level of reasoning.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord” Isaiah 1:18a
But in order to have His words reach out and touch the people of Israel, a man named Isaiah had to be called—a man set apart for God’s purposes. He was to be God’s messenger, holding in his heart and proclaiming with his mouth God’s Word. He was consumed with proclaiming it. And what a word!
Drenched in astounding grace and steeped in boundless mercy, this Word calls out to a people who, with hardness of heart, were indifferent. It was the voice of God moved with compassion. From this loving Father’s heart came beautiful promises of redemption.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” Isaiah 1:18b
Isaiah’s message whispers of hope for the future and deliverance from enemies. It promises the Messiah who will rule in a kingdom of justice and peace for all nations.
Word of Life
As I turn the pages and take in the truths, I am reminded that the Lord promises the story is not yet over. Today, the words are alive and active, and are needed more than ever. In our day, we have seen the salvation of the Messiah—Jesus Christ—experienced His forgiveness. We have heard the Word and experienced its power, as Isaiah did.
But does it burn within us, consuming us?
Are we giving our hearts and mouths for the Lord to use as vessels and messengers? I would like to be so in awe of the Word that others must come face to face with it. May others see the beauty of the message through us and above all, of the One who sent it.