“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). The people of Judah had been terribly rebuked, Isaiah likening them to Sodom and Gomorrah. Shedd: “This outflow of holy displeasure would prepare us to expect an everlasting reprobacy of the rebellious and unfaithful Church, but it is strangely followed by the most yearning and melting entreaty ever addressed by the Most High to the creatures of His footstool: ‘Come now . . .’”
There are lessons here: 1) We have the duty of examining ourselves along with God. Alone in our examination, we will reach wrong conclusions about our problem and its solution. 2) There is forgiveness with God. Though the examination shows our sins to be as scarlet, with God they can be white as snow.
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul,
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. -- James Nicholson (1872)