Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 1:16-20 NIV
Pigs love wallowing in the mud, getting dirty and actually cooling themselves off. But many of us think pigs are the most disgusting animals since they’ll eat virtually anything and yet–how many love bacon?
When people wallow in filth and come up smelling rotten and disgusting, we tend to judge their appearance the odor emitting from them, not realizing that sometimes our superficial judgments are way off. It is simply a matter of having to give a person a chance to clean themselves up before we make any final decisions. But then–there are some people–who love to live in the muck and the mire–not for any purpose other than that’s where they choose to reside–and some people–appear to love those who dwell in the muck and smell to high heaven.
Through the prophet Isaiah, we see that God sees and knows exactly what we’re doing and why, but He’s giving us a chance to clean up our acts. We can be ceremonially (physically) clean, symbolically clean, and spiritually clean–and it’s all up to us. Are we willing to wash and be clean? Soap and water will clean us ceremonially and physically, but they have no effect on our moral compass. We can be symbolically by committing certain acts of–cleansing–using elements other than soap and water or we can be spiritually clean, by washing ourselves in the water of The Word.
Oh–that The Word would shower us, removing everything that is not like God from our souls and minds so we would see the benefit of obeying God!
God is not blind or deaf and He warns us to take the evil deeds out of His sight and to stop doing wrong. We are to learn to do right–from a humanitarian perspective as well as a spiritual one. We are to seek justice–for all–the rich and the poor, the black and the white, every human being, without bias. We are to defend those who cannot defend themselves, the vulnerable who have lost hope–especially in our society where many things appear to be hopeless.
If we are willing to do what is required of us–no matter what others may say–and are obedient to God’s Word–that we love one another as ourselves–then we shall have hope and access to all the good in the land.
What is required of us? Repentance and a determination to live according to God’s Word. Constant communication with Him who is all we need for guidance and direction in every area of our lives. Submission to His Will and not our own–we must do things His way–if we’re to receive His benefits. We must not see ourselves superior to other human beings, but accept the fact that we are made in His image, bleed red, and have the same needs–security, food, and shelter. And since we do not live in isolation, we must learn to live in harmony and peace with one another.
When God speaks to our hearts through His Word are we listening? Or have we become so hard-hearted that nothing He says to us, matters?
For the benefit of all mankind regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or belief--God has spoken and if we want to see a change in our society–across the land, we must be wiling to hear and obey.
Speak, Lord–for Your true servants are listening, willing and ready to obey!