Isaiah 1:18-20

WHAT GOD WANTS

Isaiah 1:18-20

INTRODUCTION

Ever since we have known the difference between right and wrong in our lives there have been some things that we have done that we knew were wrong. Everyone of us can look back and remember an experience or experiences that made us feel dirty. No amount of bathing or showering could make us really, deep down inside, feel clean as we were before.

Maybe we have longed for those days of innocence before we became dirty with thoughts, attitudes, words, actions and conditions that now seem like they cannot be undone. Maybe sometimes we have day dreamed about the “what – ifs” of our lives. “What if” we had never made that decision in our life? “What if” we had never made that turn or accepted or rejected that something?

There are several kinds of dirtiness. There is the dirtiness that others can know about. They can see we are dirty. They can smell we are dirty. They can feel we are dirty. Then there are the kinds of dirt we can try to hide from others, including our friends, our family, our mate.

Then there is that filthiness that no one knows about but us … and God. He can not be kept out of the facts of our life. He knows. He even knows more than we even know about ourselves. He knows truly how dirty we really are.

There is a beautiful song about Him, “What A Mighty God We Serve.” We can also change the words to “What A Wonderful God We Serve” or, “What A Concerned God We Serve” or, “What A Caring God We Serve.”

The Book of Isaiah is a large book. It is about a large God with a large capacity to forgive, cleanse and restore; to make us clean once again. As Isaiah begins his book he talks about the filthiness of Israel and how God has chosen to allow His people to be once again clean from their sin. But there is a problem. God will not force His people to be clean; they must choose to be clean.

THEME: WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM US?

I. GOD WANTS US TO REASON WITH HIM vs. 18

     A. Our Approach To God

          1. In verses 1-17 God had been speaking to His people in wrath

               a. Their sin has put them under the judgment of God

               b. But now His love begins to show through

               c. God’s love does not desire our destruction

               d. His love desires our inward and outward salvation

          2. Come now

               a. ‘Come’ is used to show there is a benefit for the one addressed

                    1) Walk with Me

                    2) Follow My line of reasoning

                    3) Let me lead you away from your sins

                    4) It is now time to choose your manner of life

                         a) To live

                         b) To die

               b. This command cannot be evaded

                    1) It must be obeyed

                    2) It is not a meeting of equals

                    3) God is meeting with His sinful people

          3. Now

               a. Softens the ‘come’

               b. A loving invitation

               c. The tender manner in which God invites us the sinner

           4. Reason together

               a. A legal term

               b. Things are not right between us and God

               c. God is now calling us to a formal trial

               d. This term is used in trials to determine guilt and innocence

               e. Let us bring to light the truth of the case

               f. It is time to discover what is correct

               g. Let us each plead our case

               h. Let us come to a decision

               i. God is willing to pardon their horrible sins

           5. Three things are on God’s side

               a. Reason

               b. Justice

              c. Mercy

     B. Our Condition Before God

          1. What we will see is reasonable

               a. For us to obey the command of God

               b. For our sins to be made white

          2. The LORD speaks to us

               a. Not Elohim – God in His power

               b. Jehovah – God in his loving relationship with us

               c. Not merely Isaiah is speaking to us, God is also

          3. Scarlet sins

               a. Crimson

               b. Red

                    1) A color that came from the crushing of an insect to obtain the red die

                    2) This color comes because of a death

               c. Our sins be as scarlet

                    1) We are worthy of death

                    2) Jehovah wants to deal with us according to His free compassion

               d. Red is the clothing of Babylon

NOTE: And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Revelation 17:4-5

                 e. Red represents

                      1) The color of this life

                      2) The unjust shedding of blood

                      3) The color of sin

                      4) The red heat of sin that consumes a person

     C. Potential Before God

          1. White as snow

               a. Has no mixture of the colors of darkness

               b. White represents the pure, absolute triumph of light

          2. He has the power to turn our red sin to the very opposite

               a. Through His mercy our sin becomes the purest white

               b. Our deepest sins can become the purest white

          3. Snow

               a. Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? …          Job 38:22

               b. And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.        Exodus 4:6

NOTE: In this passage snow represents death to this life

               c. If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean  Job 9:30

               d. … wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.   Psalm 51:7

               e. He giveth snow like wool …           Psalm 147:16

NOTE: The ultimate white

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Revelation 19:7-9

T.S. WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM US?

          I. GOD WANTS US TO REASON WITH HIM   vs. 18

II. GOD WANTS US TO BE WILLING  vs. 19

     A. The Key To Freedom From Our Sin – Willing

          1. Whosoever will

          2. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.     Revelation 22:17

          3. Sin makes people weak

               a. As a nation Israel was weak because of her many sins

               b. As a family sin makes us weak

               c.  As individuals sin makes us paralyzed

     B. The Result Of Our Freedom – Obedient

          1. The Hebrew meaning of ‘obey’ is to listen for the voice

NOTE: An original logo of RCA – A dog listening to an old Victrola record with the caption: Listening to his master’s voice cf. the child of God listening to the voice of God through the Bible.

          2. There is a condition on our part – If

               a. Forgiveness is not offered unconditionally

               b. Only then will God give us the good

     C. We Stand Between Blessing And Cursing

NOTE: Every Bible preaching and teaching church should really be called “The Crossroads”. Every Bible based sermon is a “crossroads” sermon.

          1. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse           Deuteronomy 11:26

          2. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.        Deuteronomy 28:2

          3. Blessings and cursings are contrasted over thirty times in the Bible

     D. The Two Things We Must Do Before God

          1. Be willing

               a. Accept

               b. Be content

               c. Consent to

               d. Desire

               e. Rest in

               f. Yield to

           2. Be obedient

               a. Agree

               b. Hear, listen with attention

               c. Understand

               d. Yield to

     E. The Fruit Willingness And Obedience

          1. We will eat the good

               a. Eat

                    1) Devour

                    2) Consume

               b. The good

                    1) Good thing

                    2) Goodness

                    3) Prosperity

          2. The good of the land

               a. The abundant life of the child of God

               b. The best the land can produce

               c. Picture of tranquility and peace

               d. The full and complete enjoyment of life

               e. Obedience produces material blessings

               f. Obedience produces spiritual blessings

T.S. WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM US?

          I. GOD WANTS US TO REASON WITH HIM

         II. GOD WANTS US TO BE WILLING

III. GOD WANTS US TO NOT REFUSE          vs. 20

     A. The Doctrine Of A Free Will

          1. The persistence in a wicked way

          2. The fruit – the consuming punishment of the LORD

     B. The Doctrine Of Sowing And Reaping

           1. Sow repentance – reap blessings

           2. Sow rebellion – reap judgment

           3. The opposites

                a. Willing and obedient    vs. 19

                b. Refuse and rebel         vs. 20

     C. The Doctrine Of Refusing

           1. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law Psalm 78:10

           2. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded  Proverbs 1:24

           3. O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? … they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.   Jeremiah 5:3

           4. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.            Zechariah 7:11

     D. The Doctrine Of Rebelling

           1. Hebrew – marah

                a. Bitter

                b. Contentious

                c. Disobedient

           2. In English ‘rebellion’ is an unsuccessful attempt at revolution

                a. The implication is that rebels usually want to try again

                b. A rebellious nature is one that is constantly ready to renew the battle

     E. The Result Of Refusing And Rebelling – Devoured

          1. Devoured

               a. The same word in vs. 19 for ‘eat’

               b. The contrasting choices

                    1) The full enjoyment of domestic blessings; of settled peaceful rest at home

                    2) The curse of being eaten with the sword

NOTE: Sword

          a. Used in warfare

          b. Used to sever, separate

     F. The Importance Of The Message – From The Mouth of the LORD

          1. It is possible that written messages can be considered impersonal

          2. Spoken messages are personal

          3. Not the mouth of Isaiah

          4. Personally spoken word

          5. A commandment from Him

NOTE: Years ago a traveling salesman went to France and returned with some gifts for his wife. One of them was a matchbox that would glow in the dark. When they turned out the light, it would not glow. “I’ve been cheated!” declared the husband.

The wife saw some French words on the box and took it to a friend who could read French. It said, “If you want me to shine at night, keep me in the sunshine all day.”

Only when we are willing and obedient in His presence do we have a glow about us.

CONCLUSION

WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM US?

I. GOD WANTS US TO REASON WITH HIM

II. GOD WANTS US TO BE WILLING        vs. 19

III. GOD WANTS US TO NOT REFUSE

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