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By DOUG EDWARDS
Isaiah was a prophet during a sinful time in Israel’s history. Here are a few of their offences: They lived in open rebellion against God. They did not know His ways. They refused to repent, and violence filled their land. Even their religious services were an disgrace. The only thing that held the nation together was a remnant of faithful Jews.
Today is really no different. People do not seek the Lord until they are first sought by him. People will not love God until they are first loved by him. People will never come to God unless God first comes to them.
God approached his rebellious people with an amazing invitation — come to him for the cleansing they so desperately needed. This is found in verses 18-20.
First, God reached out to His errant people and called them back to himself saying, “Come Now.” He could see what Israel could not — where their sin was leading them. Because he loved them, he extended grace and mercy to those who would repent.
Next, he challenged them with “let us reason together.” This was a legal term meaning, “Let’s settle this matter before a court of law; let’s try our case in court.” This was not to a negotiation, but a calling them to come to his way of thinking and to say, “You are right and we are wrong. We are sorry and we are ready to go your way.”
Last we come to God’s Promise: If they would come and settle things with him — he would cleanse them completely. Scarlet and Crimson were strong dyes and when applied to white garments, no human means could ever return them to their pure state. But God can!
Is there a better way to start off your new year than with a blessed, clean slate? Agree with God about your sins, turn from them and place your faith in Jesus and you will find cleansing and blessing. God is wanting to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Doug Edwards is pastor of First Baptist Church.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.