Learning from Isaiah 1-6
1:1-31 - God invites us to ‘come’ to Him and receive salvation - ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’. He also warns us - there will be judgment ‘if you refuse and rebel’ (18-20). God speaks to us of His great purpose of salvation: ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him’. He tells us that we can be saved through faith in Christ: ‘Whoever believes in Him is not condemned’. He calls us back from the way of unbelief and judgment: ‘Whoever does not believe is condemned already because he does not believe in the Name of the only Son of God’ (John 3:17-18). In Jesus Christ, there is ‘great salvation’. Make sure that you receive God’s salvation. ‘How shall we escape if we neglect or ignore such a great salvation?’ (Hebrews 2:3).
2:1-22 - God calls us to worship Him - ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...’ - and walk in His ways - ‘Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord’ (3,5). We are moving towards the Day when ‘the pride of men shall be humbled and brought low’, the Day when ‘the Lord alone will be exalted’ (11,12,17). How are we to get ready for the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ? God calls us to keep on worshipping Him. We are to encourage one another to keep on walking with God. ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching’ (Hebrews 10:25). Let our pride be humbled and let the Lord be exalted as we await Christ’s Return in ‘faith’, looking to Him alone for our ‘salvation’ (1 Peter 1:7-9).
3:1-26 - God’s Word calls us to make our choice. We must choose between the way of ‘the righteous’ and the way of ‘the wicked’. There is a great difference between the two ways - ‘Tell the righteous it will be well with them... Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them!...’ (10-11). We still need to hear the words of Jesus: ‘Enter by the narrow gate... only a few find the narrow gate, the hard way that leads to life’. His words are not popular. Many people dismiss His words as old-fashioned. They don’t like this kind of talk: ‘the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it’ (Matthew 7:13-14). They say, ‘ Jesus said such ‘nice’ things about love. Why does He spoil it all by saying things like this?’. When will we start listening to all that Jesus says - and not only the ‘nice’ things we like to hear?
4:1-5:17 - ‘Those who are left... will be called holy’ (4:3). The world speaks of God’s people with contempt - ‘the holy people who need to learn to live in the real world’. When God calls His people ‘holy’, He speaks in a very different way. He speaks with affection. He looks upon us with love. We are special to Him. We are precious in His eyes. God loves us and He calls us to be holy. We are to live as those who have been set apart for God. We are not to live for this world only. There is something else, something greater than this so-called ‘real world’. There is a world that is unseen and eternal, heavenly and glorious. This is our higher calling, our call to holiness. Let us ‘look to the things that are unseen and eternal’. Let us ‘press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 3:14).
5:18-6:13 - God reveals His holiness: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts’ (3). In His holiness, we see our own sinfulness: ‘I am a man of unclean lips’ (5). God is perfectly holy: ‘Your eyes are too pure to look on evil’ (Habakkuk 1:13). When we look at ourselves in the light of God’s perfect holiness, we see the truth concerning ourselves: ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). There is no room for excuses. We must confess our sin. We must pray for God’s forgivenss: ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’ (Luke 18:13). To those who come to Him with a true confession of sin, God speaks His Word of forgiveness: ‘your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven’ (7). The Lord has saved us. Let us serve Him. Let us pray, ‘Here am I! Send me’ (8). Let us share the Good News of His forgiveness.