Isaiah 1:17-18 MSG : “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is God’s Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings.”
At one time in my life, as I succumbed to the stress and anxiety of academic and professional demands, I sought refuge in addictive/compulsive behaviors. Of course, what followed were guilt, shame, and even despair.
I remember having a bible in the car with me. I seldom if ever read the bible at that time. I can’t recall why I had the bible. It probably was my grandmother’s bible–the only bible I had ever seen, actually. I came to a stop light, on my way to another relapse. For some reason, I opened the bible as I waited for the light. The verses I read were these from Isaiah 1:18. The words washed over me like a calming merciful forgiveness–an offer of hope that God still loved me despite my sin and lostness.
Those words still mean the world to me. They are the words of a God who loves and who does not condemn–a God of mercy and not vengeful anger. But I, and you, must first repent. We must turn to God with a sort of desperate sorrow at our transgressions. It is then that God says such things as “Come now and let us reason together . . . if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”
Praise the God of mercy, whose love is available to sinners like me.