Israel and Judah Called to Obey
At the commencement of a 2520
punishment, God himself always announces its beginning in person or
through the voice of His prophets. For Israel and Judah this
voice was Isaiah.
Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens,
and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished
and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but
Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of
evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the
LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are
gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more:
the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness
in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not
been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your
land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as
overthrown by strangers.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a
lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we
should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto
God saw that both Israel and
Judah's cup of iniquity was full to overflowing; in His eyes they
had become as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of
the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye
people of Gomorrah.
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?
saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the
fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of
lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your
hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me;
the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away
with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are
a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from
you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are
full of blood.
Just like many do in this day
and age, the Israelite nations were justifying themselves by asking
God to forgive them of their sins through the sacrificial system but
they had no interest in forsaking their sins and obeying His
commandments. Justification without sanctification is an
abomination to the Lord, or in simple terms: saying you're sorry for
a wrong you have committed but in your heart you have no intention
of giving up this wrong, your "sorry" is a lie!
Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you
clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease
to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the
fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be
red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword:
for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
21 How is the faithful city
become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in
it; but now murderers.
22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one
loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the
fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of
Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of
25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy
dross, and take away all thy tin:
26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy
counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The
city of righteousness, the faithful city.
27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with
28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall
be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and
ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that
hath no water.
31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark,
and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.
"If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness." 1John 1:9
Both the Old and New
Testaments agree; we must confess and forsake our sins. If
you are dirty and want to be clean, it is because you have
actual dirt on you. You can not become clean and still
keep the dirt on you. If you wash the dirt it will not
change, it is still dirt and you are still dirty. The
only way to become clean is by washing the dirt away.
If the dirt comes back again, you are dirty again and you
must start the cleaning process all over again.
Victory over sin is
possible through Jesus, He will forgive us (justification)
and He will clean us by taking away the sin
(sanctification), but we have to give our sin to Him.
Our sin becomes His and we have no right to it as long as we
wish to be cleansed from all unrighteousness.