Have you ever considered how often we cherry-pick verses from the OT/Hebrew Scriptures? I have begun reading Isaiah for my #QT that will carry me into the New Year and already in the first chapter, I am confronted with the “Christian” tendency to take verses from the Tanakh that we light and not look at the guilt-inducing context verses surrounding it. One perfect example is this verse:
Isaiah 1:18 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.
How many of you have heard this metaphorized into Jesus being the lamb and His wool? How many of you have heard this compared to the “scarlet thread of redemption? Well … You have heard wrong! Sorry, preachers for taking away your examples.
This verse is connected to the entire indictment of chapter 1 against Israel for their selfishness, their sins, their act of worship with no meaning behind it. In fact, the only metaphor in ch. 1 is to compare them to Sodom and Gomorrah! Yikes!
Verse 18 is a promise of restoration (for the nation which is key) IF they live out verses 16-17 and 19. So … What do those verses state in imperative (i.e., command) language?
1. Seek justice for all – not some
2. Make progress (in Hebrew) for those who are being downtrodden
3. Provide for the orphans
4. Defend the widows
By the way, and to make modern application, this is a message to the nation and not Christians and/or the church, even though we should do the same as well as an example and the leaders of such efforts.
Therefore, and the day after Messiahmas, is a great day to ask … are we as a nation, as Christians, doing any of those four things? Or are we no better than Sodom and Gomorrah?