The snowflakes are coming down in earnest in central Pennsylvania this morning ! It’s kind of nice seeing the change of the white everywhere, must be sooo boring in Hawaii. That was for you Mike, Ha ! Anyway, when I look out and see the snow covered landscape I can’t help but think of what Isaiah wrote so many centuries ago: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. . .” (1:18).
When the prophet wrote this message from the One Who gives us the snow he was letting God’s people know that the Lord was not very pleased with Israel. They had rebelled (vs.2), ignored Him (vs.3), and in so doing had provoked their Master to anger (vs.4). Oh they were still going through the motions of worship yet God deftly questioned their motives to affect their repentance when He said through Isaiah, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. . . I cannot away with: it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting” (vss.11-13). Wow, God was upset ! Its easy to go through the motions when it comes to our worship, we’re still sinners and there are many things we can deviate into and place ahead of God in this life (a habit or hobby, a job or a friend, even a ministry). So we need the reminder of the words of the prophet and to honestly ask ourselves where our heart is today and tomorrow when we head off to public worship.
But the fascinating thing God says after He castigates His people is a loving call for repentance. He knows their hearts are far from Him but endeavors to draw them back so He pleads “Learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Doing well is learned and not automatic and these are commands which suggests they can be done by us, though sinners, because we have an amazing God Who can empower us and change our heart if we let Him ! And also, when someone lets us down our tendency is to want to just move on and away and dispose of the relationship, God is not so. So He then says our “snow” verse: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. . .” There is no condoning of their sin, there is however a cure for it ! Overlooking wouldn’t effectively deal with it, repenting would ! Is there something you are harboring that offends God? Is there a bitter thought or unforgiving attitude towards someone who has ticked you off? Is your worship at the place where your heart is cold and its been a while since you really, truly sat back and adored Him? Make things right, turn to Him and from sin and your heart will be as cleansed as the pure and white as the snow covered ground !