Isaiah 1:1, 10-20

The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amos saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! “The multitude of your sacrificers–what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations–I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourself clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

“Come now, let us reason together,” 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 best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

A Thought

God has always wanted a faithful people to serve him with a heart of love and obedience. God’s people of Israel and Judah were turning away from God, oppressing the poor, offering meaningless sacrifices, and turning to idols. God speaks his warning of judgement through his prophet Isaiah. If they continue to rebel, resist him, they will die by the sword. If they will return to God in obedience, God will hear their prayers and bless them with the best from the land.

Our Prayer

Father we desire to serve you with our whole heart in faithfulness, love and obedience. Help us to seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the fatherless and plead for the widows; we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.