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.
Bruce Wilkinson said, “Repentance means you change your mind so deeply that it changes you.”
What else does God expect from His people as proof of their repentance. Along with learning to do well, pursuing fair treatment of all, and relieving the oppressed, the Lord says, “judge the fatherless” and “plead for the widow.” The fatherless and the widow were two of the most vulnerable classes in Jewish society. Because lineage was highly regarded, a child who could not name his or her father was considered a nobody. They had no family ties that they could lean on and no inheritance that they could claim, dooming them to a lifetime of indebtedness, poverty, and servanthood. A woman whose husband had died — and who had no other family to take care of her — was likewise without protection in the public eye. Because of the male-oriented society of that time, only the husband’s voice was respected as the arbiter of the family’s affairs. Widows were often taken advantage of by corrupt merchants and lenders who knew that their voice would not be considered in a court of law. Even in Jesus’ day, the Lord rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for ‘taking advantage of widows and robbing them of their homes, and then making a show of saying long prayers.’ This is the kind of behavior that was going on in ancient Israel.
When the Lord commanded His people to judge the fatherless, he was telling them to treat the fatherless fairly — to treat them as they would want their own children to be treated. Likewise for the widow: instead of taking advantage of widows, the Lord wanted the people of Israel to stand up and “plead” in the widows behalf. A repentant Israeli society would find families adopting fatherless children and raising them as their own, giving them a chance to succeed in life. A repentant Israeli society would have men stepping up defend widows’ interests to ensure that they were not taken advantage of.
I think it is fair to say that, largely, Christian in America have the right attitude to the fatherless and the widow. For example, statistics show that 5% of practicing Christian adults in the U.S. have adopted a child, which is double the rate of non-Christian adults. Also 38% of practicing Christians have seriously considered adoption, compared to 26% of the general population. However, as a body of believers, we can do more.
According to an Associated Press story last week, a prominent Christian “evangelical” organization, the Faith & Freedom Coalition, is going to spend $50 million for get-out-the-vote efforts in 2020. Now, imagine how much could be done if that money were spent to build up the Kingdom of God instead of pursuing partisan political victories to build up the kingdom of man. Imagine the homes and schools that could be built for orphaned children. Imagine the care that could be provided for widows. Imagine the accommodations that could be built for migrants crossing the border. Imagine the number of families that could be lifted out of poverty in our churches today. Imagine the mission trips that could be funded abroad and the evangelistic efforts that could be carried out at home.
Now, we ought not to sit in judgment and say they ought to do more, because each of us will answer to God for how we spend the resources that He has given us. And the truth is that most of us in the church today are not doing all that we could do. Our actions are the only ones that we have control over. So, we must individually decide to repent of our carelessness and callousness toward others, and do what we can to pursue fair treatment of all, to relieve the oppressed, to treat the fatherless fairly, and to stand in defense of widows and all those who are at a disadvantage in our society. James 1:27 says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.”
Fred Pratt Green wrote:
When the church of Jesus shuts its outer door,
lest the roar of traffic drown the voice of prayer:
may our prayers, Lord, make us ten times more aware
that the world we banish is our Christian care.
If our hearts are lifted where devotion soars
high above this hungry suffering world of ours:
lest our hymns should drug us to forget its needs,
forge our Christian worship into Christian deeds.
Lest the gifts we offer, money, talents, time,
serve to salve our conscience, to our secret shame:
Lord, reprove, inspire us by the way You give;
teach us, dying Savior, how true Christians live.
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.