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June 21, 2023 - Isaiah 1

Isaiah! I mean, when you come to the book of Isaiah, you just get the sense that you're beginning to read something monumental. That’s not to try to say that, somehow or other, this book is more important or more spiritual than others in the Bible. It’s not to create a canon within the canon. But Isaiah’s poetry and imagery, his prose, his clear prophecies about the Messiah, and all else . . . well, it’s just a treat.


Fascinating. Isaiah begins by addressing the heavens and the earth and the wild animals. Though these are the immediate objects of his address, the passage is really an indictment leveled against Israel. The heavens and earth are his witnesses; God has so blessed Israel, but she has spurned him. Even the wild animals know better than to turn away from the one who feeds them! But not only are the people stupid, they are also sinful. They are laden down with sin, and though they have been disciplined, they just continue to sin. Their cities lie desolate. They are invaded by foreigners. They are like Sodom and Gomorrah.


Even with all of Israel’s treacheries, the words of the Lord are dripping with grace: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (1:18). Grace greater than sin! I want to type it again . . . GRACE GREATER THAN ALL OUR SIN!


Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,

Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!

Yonder on Calvary's mount out-poured–

There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,

Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

Grace, grace, God’s grace,

Grace that is greater than all our sin! -- Julia H. Johnston (1910)

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