// Read: Isaiah 1:16-40 //
16 Oh, wash yourselves! Be clean! Let me no longer see you doing all these wicked things; quit your evil ways. 17 Learn to do good, to be fair, and to help the poor, the fatherless, and widows.

18 Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! 19 If you will only let me help you, if you will only obey, then I will make you rich! 20 But if you keep on turning your backs and refusing to listen to me, you will be killed by your enemies; I, the Lord, have spoken.

21 Jerusalem, once a faithful wife! And now a prostitute! Running after other gods! Once “The City of Fair Play,” but now a gang of murderers. 22 Once like sterling silver; now mixed with worthless alloy! Once so pure, but now diluted like watered-down wine! 23 Your leaders are rebels, companions of thieves; all of them take bribes and won’t defend the widows and orphans. 24 Therefore the Lord, the Mighty One of Israel, says: I will pour out my anger on you, my enemies! 25 I myself will melt you in a smelting pot and skim off your slag.

26 And afterwards I will give you good judges and wise counselors like those you used to have. Then your city shall again be called “The City of Justice” and “The Faithful Town.”

27 Those who return to the Lord, who are just and good, shall be redeemed. 28 (But all sinners shall utterly perish, for they refuse to come to me.) 29 Shame will cover you, and you will blush to think of all those times you sacrificed to idols in your groves of “sacred” oaks. 30 You will perish like a withered tree or a garden without water. 31 The strongest among you will disappear like burning straw; your evil deeds are the spark that sets the straw on fire, and no one will be able to put it out.

There is a call to holiness in the text today. Anyone that does not obey this commandment will be devoured by sword but obedience will give access to the fruit of the land. It is not enough to go to Church; one must know how to seek the Lord and His righteousness. It is only the doer not the hearer of His word that will be blessed (James 1:25)

PRAYER: Pray for a willing and obedient heart

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