TEXT: Isaiah 1:1-20
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
11 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; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
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.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Isaiah 1 is a chapter which teaches an important lesson to those of us who desire the salvation of men, for it shows us how God sets about that work. He begins by exhibiting the sinner’s sin to him before he proclaims mercy to him; and if we want to be the means of doing good to men, there must be a laying of the axe at the root of the tree. A man must realize his danger before he will desire to escape from it, and it is a mistaken kindness which refuses to set before him the peril in which he is. God, who is infinitely tender and inconceivably merciful, shows us, in this chapter, how to go to work with sinners.”
The prophecies of Isaiah are begun with a stern message from God for His people Israel. There is no doubt that the prophets of the Old Testament loved their nation and did not wish to deliver the messages of warning, chastisement, and doom upon their neighbors. But, unlike the abundance of false prophets and careless priests, the prophets who have books bearing their names in Scripture, were faithful to deliver God’s message to the nation no matter what the people wanted to hear. A recent from Barna Group found that half of pastors in America are afraid to preach on controversial issues lest they offend someone in attendance or the culture at large. Well, Isaiah was not afraid, and he faithfully delivered God’s word to a hypocritical people.
Since we are starting at chapter 1, verse 1 of Isaiah, it might be helpful to gain a little background knowledge about Isaiah and his environment. David Guzik writes, “This book contains the prophecies of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, who ministered from about 740 to 680 B.C. For about 20 years, he spoke to both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. After Israel’s fall to the Assyrians in 722 B.C., Isaiah continued to prophesy to Judah. Isaiah was a contemporary of the prophets Hosea and Micah. By the time of Isaiah, the prophets Elijah, Elisha, Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, and Amos had already completed their ministry. By this time, Israel had been in the Promised Land for almost 700 years. Up until the time of Isaiah in the divided kingdom, the northern nation of Israel had some 18 kings – all of them bad, and rebellious against the Lord. The southern nation of Judah had some 11 kings before Isaiah’s ministry, some good and some bad.”
In our day, we also have both bad and good governmental leaders. But God wants us to focus not so much on what the governmental leaders are doing, but on what those of us in the church are doing or not doing. And that is where we can learn from Isaiah’s message to the children of Israel.
Through Jeremiah, we have seen how God casts himself as a husband pleading with and rebuking an adulterous wife. In Isaiah, we see God casting himself as a father pleading with and rebuking his rebellious children. Calling Heaven and Earth to witness, God says, “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” For hundreds of years, God had provided for Israel and kept her safe from her enemies, and yet Israel turned her back on God. God compares them to animals — the ox and the donkey who are more faithful to their owners than Israel has been to God. If you have a dog, you know the feeling of coming home every day and having that dog run to you, tail wagging, happy to see you. Your dog will greet you every morning when you wake up or every evening when you come home more faithfully than the humans you live with. Well, that is how the children of Israel are treating God. And that is how many in the church are treating God today.
We have forgotten the One who provides for us, who sustains us, who saved us. We have taken advantage of all of His benefits, yet turned our backs on him. Instead of returning faithfully to Him whenever we are in need, we seek worldly solutions to our problems, and little by little we turn our allegiance to the world. God is saying to us today, “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” Like the prodigal son, we must come to our senses and say in our hearts, “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” Until we are ready to return to God, confess, and repent of our sins, the wrath of God will abide on us.
James F. Clarke wrote:
Brother, hast thou wandered far
From thy Father’s happy home,
With thyself and God at war?
Turn thee, brother; homeward come.
Hast thou wasted all the powers
God for noble uses gave?
Squandered life’s most golden hours?
Turn thee, brother; God can save!
Is a mighty famine now
In thy heart and in thy soul?
Discontent upon thy brow?
Turn thee; God will make thee whole.
He can heal thy bitterest wound,
He thy gentlest prayer can hear;
Seek Him, for He may be found;
Call upon Him; He is near.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.