Tag Archives: Isaiah 1

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 152/260: Isaiah

Read Isaiah 1:1-20

The Reasonableness of Serving God

Some of the most beloved passages of prophecy come from the writing of Isaiah, sometimes referred to as the Messianic prophet because of his focus on the coming Messiah. There are some who believe Isaiah was related to King Uzziah and possibly enjoyed access to the throne because of that familial relationship. However, his possible family connections did not quash the boldness of the message.

Isaiah prophesied during a time that Judah was “laden with iniquity” and a “brood of evildoers” and “corrupters” (Isaiah 1:4). The sins of the nation caused suffering among the people, and the prophet calls for them to repent and restore their relationship with the Almighty. God declares through Isaiah, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17).

God promises, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). As long as one has the breath of life in him, he can come to God and be forgiven according to God’s will.

God says, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). Is it reasonable to serve God? Is it reasonable to repent and live righteously? As one reads through the Scriptures, it is easy to see that reason plays a big part in one’s relationship with the Lord.

Throughout his missionary efforts, Luke often writes that Paul reasoned in the synagogues and with the Jews (Acts 17:2, 17; 18:4, 19; 19:8-9). Even when he was brought before the governor Felix, Paul “reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come” (Acts 24:25). Likewise, to Festus, Paul defended himself, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25).

The apostle made an appeal to the church at Rome to live selfless, godly lives. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). It is reasonable to serve God!

Rebellion and Restoration (Isaiah 1:1-20)

Isaiah A Study of Selected Texts

Rebellion and Restoration (Isaiah 1:1-20)

  • 1:1 – Isaiah = Yesha-Yahu = “Jehovah is salvation”
    • Son of Amoz; married to a prophetess (8:3); 2 sons (7:3; 8:3)
    • Prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah (767-740 BC), Jotham (750-736 BC), Ahaz (736-716 BC), Hezekiah (716-698 BC)
  • 1:2-9 – Judah is a “sinful nation,” “laden with iniquity,” “brood of evildoers,” “corrupters”
    • Their sin caused suffering
    • Is suffering always caused by sin? (Job 1:1; 1 Peter 3:17)
    • The description of desolation consistent with Micah 6:13-16 and corresponds with Lev. 26 and Deut. 28
  • 1:10-15 – God does not want sacrifice without submission
    • Proverbs 15:8; 1 Timothy 2:8; James 5:16
    • “Rite without right is wrong” (Clyde M. Woods)
  • 1:16-17 – Restoration is called for
    • “Repentance is surrender; a change of thinking, willing, acting; a life directed toward the will of God as revealed in His Word” (Butler)
    • Cessation of evil must be accompanied by commencement of right (Ephesians 4:25-32)
  • 1:18-20 – Reason is a big part of righteousness
    • Paul reasoned (Acts 17:2,17; 18:4,19; 19:8-9; 24:25)
    • “The words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25)
    • Living sacrifice = “reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1)
    • Choice: “willing and obedient” or “refuse and rebel” (Romans 11:22)

Discussion Questions

1. What is the force of the comparison of the people of Judah to the ox and donkey?

2. What sickness did the people have?

3. God commanded sacrifices through Moses; here, He says He takes no pleasure in them. Does He contradict Himself?

4. What positive commands were the people given?

5. Is it reasonable to serve God? Why or why not?