Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
[Isaiah 1:18-20 NKJV]
The words of Isaiah are among the most revolutionary in the entirety of Scripture. Why do I say that? Again and again in the Old Testament, we hear about the wrath of God, or of His plan for mankind; but here at the centre of the Bible, Isaiah has this amazing revelation — Almighty God desires a relationship with His people where we can reason together; discuss things with our Creator; ask questions and get an understanding of our purpose in His universe.
Suddenly, we need not be afraid. Surely, we must fear the Lord, have a healthy respect for Him, know that He is in control; but God is revealed as a loving Father and not an autocratic ruler. At least, that was my feeling when I first read those words.
Here God also sets out the basic terms and conditions of His covenant with us His people — if you are willing and obedient ... No wonder Isaiah is seen as the first of the great prophets, for he lets us see our Heavenly Father in the light of our experience and less of an otherworldly deity. He brings God to us, and God used Isaiah to bring some of the clearest of prophecies regarding the coming Messiah — Jesus of Nazareth — who completely and utterly fulfilled that promise of forgiveness in Isaiah 1:18-20.
The Christian life is the simplest, the gayest, the most regardless-of-consequences life, lived as it is taught by Jesus. The plan of our life comes through the haphazard moments, but behind it is the order of God.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART