Friday, January 9, 2009

Weighed Down and Washed Up - Isaiah 1

This morning I have before me the beginning of the book of Isaiah. Isaiah’s name means “the salvation of the LORD”. What “a proper name for this prophet who prophecies so much of Jesus the Savior and of the great salvation wrought out by Him.” (Matthew Henry)

This book is full of the gospel. It is overflowing with law and with grace. It's pages are dripping with glorious portrayals of the Messiah. His work for us and its result to us are everywhere. How I pray that as I study these pages that God would grant me a greater fear of Him and love for Him. How I pray that He would grant me a greater understanding of the wickedness of my heart and of my need for grace. How I pray that He would place in me a greater zeal to see those in stubborn rebellion brought to saving repentance and sanctifying reformation. LORD of Hosts, teach me through your Word.

The book begins with a description of what it simply is – “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, king of Judah.” Isaiah was around a long time and passed through a number of kings. He saw much and had cause to weep much. Isaiah speaks a great deal of hard truth to the OT church of God in the midst of her rebellion and he constantly points them to the hope of the coming Christ! His prophetic words speak much of that same hard truth to me. There is nothing new under the sun – the church is still full of stubborn and stiff necked people – I’m one of them. God is still a covenant keeping God – His promises and His curses fail not. His justice prevails, His mercy endures forever.

What particularly strikes me this morning comes from verses 4 and 16-17:

“Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity…. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless; defend the orphan plead for the widow.” (vs 4, 16-17)

Here is what sin does. It weighs us down, much like Christian and his burden in "Pilgrims Progres." We are weighed down with iniquity and have such need for Someone to remove the burden from us. May I pray more fervently that God would let me sense the burden of sin more that I might hate it more. Where is the hope for this burden of sin? The hope is found in the gospel – it is by grace through faith and repentance that this weight of sin is taken away.

The call to repentance is heralded in verses 16-17: “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.” We must put off our sin and put on the cleansing blood of Jesus which will wash us “white as snow” (vs 18). We must put off the evil – “Cease to do evil” and we must “learn to do good.”
May God grant me the grace to take every effort and every pain possible to learn from Him what good is and how to do it. O God, grant me a true knowledge of my duty and a sincere desire to walk in it.
Thankful for His blood,

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