Isaiah describes the status of God’s people. They are a people laden with iniquity and utterly estranged. (v4) God’s people are instructed as to what kind of activities they should be involved in (v16-17) but God says it is simply unacceptable to try to do these “good works” without first acknowledging their current state of sinfulness. (v18) Their repentance would bring a radical change that would be noticeable and lasting. (v19)
At ChildHope we affirm that our ministry of compassion is a reasonable response to the needs of the world, but compassion that best pleases God comes when we have been first transformed by repenting and acknowledging our need for a Savior. The needs of the children ChildHope serves are statistically daunting, but represent the larger picture of a sinful world in need of a Savior. We will follow the pattern laid out in verse 16: wash yourselves (repent) and then learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression and plead the widow’s cause. (v17)
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, the needs of this world are overwhelming. Don’t let us get caught in the statistics and miss the real need of all humanity: A Savior!
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”
4 Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
18 “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 become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.