Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
A brief conversation I had with a physician once served as the perfect illustration for this week’s Old Testament passage. He said, rather offhandedly, that if his preferred eating habits ever caused blood pressure trouble he would simply work out a medication regimen to fix it. Another person I frequently talked with considered traffic tickets merely the price he routinely paid for his lifestyle.
In Isaiah 1:10-18, God complains that His people don’t really care about the sacrifices they make. They approach sin as merely something to be paid for, like driving a car through the mud merely calls for a car wash. God’s attitude about sin is far different from my attitude about washing the car or sweeping the driveway. Yes, the Lord is the God of all forgiveness. There is no doubt about it. However, the Lord wants us to share His attitude about the serious nature of sin and the joy of His free forgiveness. When our repentance is merely formal, it takes God for granted. This is even an example of taking God’s name in vain. It misses the entire point of forgiveness.
In the passage, then, the Lord calls His people to recognize that our sin is absolutely real, and so is His forgiveness. It is free to us, but it is priceless, and even cost God the Son his life. May we recognize God’s care for what it truly is, and approach His throne of grace with the same care He has - a care that desires holiness.
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