Thursday, August 04, 2016

A deal in our favor

raw wiik
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 1:18-31

"'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 like crimson,
They shall be as wool.'" Isaiah 1:18

In the middle of this prophecy, which is mostly a blistering scold of Judah for her rebellious ways, comes this short and dispassionate invitation: "'Come now let us reason together.'"

[Reason - yakach isn't transliterated reason very often. In other places it is rendered to decide, judge, show to be right, prove, reprove, chide, correct, rebuke. That, then, is the shade of reason here—a deal proposed by the One with the power, wisdom, and right to judge, to the one without.]

The deal the LORD sets out is simple. For willingness and obedience they will get supernatural cleansing (from sin). But refusal and rebellion will lead to death.

When we consider the price God demanded as payment for cleansing from sin—the life of a perfect lamb in the Old Testament, culminating in the life of the Lamb of God in the New, this "deal" seems highly weighted in favor of Judah, and us humans. But it does have two sides to it.

Still today the opportunity to be cleansed stands:
  • "…the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all " Isaiah 53:6.
  • "… while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8
  • " For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works…" Ephesians 2:8,9
  • "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…"1 Peter 3:18.

When we accept it, it means new life for us.
  • " I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you … Ezekiel 36:25-27.
  • "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2 Corinthians 5:14-17.

But we also have a part to play in this agreement.

  • "…present your bodies a living sacrifice…" Romans 12:1.
  • "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only…" James 1:22-25.
  • "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me…" John 14:21.

However, even in this, God is at work to enable us.
  • "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" 2 Corinthians 3:18 (emphasis added).

Through the centuries it's a deal that remains weighted in our favour.

Dear Father, thank You for making a way out of the stench and stain of sin to purity. Even though sacrificing You our whole selves in love and obedience is no little thing, in reality, it's all You, and a very beneficial deal for us! Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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