Isaiah 1, God Offers Forgiveness To His Rebellious Children
1. God’s Children Have Rebelled (v1-4)
2. God’s Rebellious Children Have Resisted Correction (v5-9)
3. God Hates The Fake Religion Of Rebellious Children (v10-15)
4. God Invites His Rebellious Children To Repent (v16-20)
Isaiah 1, God Offers Forgiveness To His Rebellious Children
Isaiah 1, God Offers Forgiveness To His Rebellious Children
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Well here in Isaiah chapter one, we get to explore the beginning of the Ministry of Isaiah and his prophecies to the nation of Judah.
And we'll be spending the next few weeks or so in the Book of Isaiah as we work our way through the reading.
But the Lord really timed it perfectly for us as today we get to.
Participate in and and enjoy our Church of Baptism's leader on this after.
And the passage that God has for us here in Isaiah Chapter one really ties into that event.
But before we get into the passage, I wanted to take some time and review and consider what baptism is all about.
And so I want to take a few moments here before we get into the actual chapter of Isaiah.
To talk about water baptism now baptism is used in a couple different ways throughout the Scriptures and.
I'm not going to try to expound all of those, but specifically looking at water baptism and what that is and what that means, there's some important truths to know about it.
The word baptize simply means to immerse or to submerge.
It's the idea of completely placing something.
Under water, and that can be well used of water.
In water baptism, it can be used of the Holy Spirit.
In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it can be used of conversion and being baptized into the body of Christ, and again the Scripture uses it in those different ways.
These, but water baptism is a very specific thing that we find in the scriptures and find instruction about throughout the New Testament, and it's helpful for us to understand those passages and what the Lord says about it.
So first of all, it's important to know that water baptism symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection.
Death, burial, and resurrection.
The baptism that we practice is, you know, standing in the water and being placed backwards underneath the water.
So then you get the death on the way down.
You get the burial while the water covers over the surface of where you are when standing.
And then the resurrection as you are brought back.
Now it's a stand upright again, and it's a very vivid picture of this work that God does.
Is in US and we find this taught and you can spend some time on your own.
Looking at Romans Chapter 6 where Paul expresses this idea that the death and the burial and the resurrection of Jesus and in baptism we are identifying with Christ and declaring and proclaiming that we have received.
His work on our behalf, we identify with him in the same way that he was crucified and then buried and then resurrected that we also as believers.
Years experience that spiritually that we are given new life in Christ and the old life has passed away.
We often describe baptism as an outward expression of an inward change.
An outward expression of an inward change and, and that's what this is, it's that symbolizing of the work that God has done.
It's a real work.
The identified identification with Christ of death, burial, and resurrection is a real.
Work, spiritually speaking, that happens and the outward expression of it is this water baptism.
Well, as such water baptism is not a requirement for salvation.
That is, if someone believes in Jesus and experiences that real work of identifying with Jesus and receiving what he has accomplished for.
Plus and then their life comes to an end before there's the opportunity for them to be baptized.
There's no worry or concern about their condition about their salvation.
This we are given the classic example of the thief on the cross in Luke Chapter 23 who believed in Jesus. He was on the cross.
No opportunity, no possibility of being baptized.
Raised but Jesus promised that he would be with him in Paradise, and so it's not a requirement for salvation.
In that sense, it is a ritual, a symbolic ritual.
The reality is required for salvation, because the reality is salvation, and that's what baptism represents and demonstrates.
In the picture that is painted through the water baptism.
Water baptism also declares a change to live a new life.
There's a change that is being communicated that there is not just this spiritual work that is internal and invisible, but it's a spiritual work that really works itself.
Out in visible change in our lives so that we don't live the way that we used to live.
We don't behave the way that we used to behave.
We don't continue in those sins that we used to practice, but but baptism declares I'm making a change.
I'm cutting off all the things that are not of God.
Out of my life and behavior, and now I'm going to walk in the things.
That are of.
God and in the things that he has called me too.
You can check out Romans Chapter 6 verse 3.
13 Where Paul encourages us to not let any part of our body continue to be an instrument of evil in service of sin.
But instead we're to give ourselves completely to God.
He says you now have a new life, so use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right.
For the glory of God in baptism really represents that heart that I'm I'm not going to be serving and giving myself as an instrument of sin any longer, but my life is now given over to serve God to live the new life that he has set before me.
Well, we also need to know that Jesus commanded water baptism for his followers. This is found in Matthew Chapter 28 the Great Commission.
He calls his disciples to go make disciples, and when those disciples make disciples.
They are to.
Baptize them in the name of the father and the son, and.
The holy spear.
Now it's not deliberately spelled out here, but that would continue on and repeat.
So then the disciples that the disciples made, they would be baptized.
But then the disciples that the disciples made would also make more disciples, and then they would baptize those disciples.
And then the disciples, that the disciples of the disciples made.
They would make disciples and then they would baptize those disciples, and the chain is intended to continue in this way.
It was a command for the Lord.
For his followers to be baptized to publicly pronounce and declare this spiritual work that has been done, this change that has taken place again the spiritual work that's being represented.
This declaration of out with the old.
I'm changing my ways.
I'm not going to walk that way anymore, and I'm going to live in this new life.
And so anyone who believes that Jesus is the son of God may be baptized in acts Chapter 8, the Ethiopian Eunuch saw water as he believed the gospel and received Jesus Christ and he told Phillip here's water.
Can I just be baptized right now and?
Philip answered, if you believe with all your hearts, you may.
That's the requirement to believe in Jesus is the requirement for baptism and acts chapter 2.
When Peter was finishing his message on the day of Pentecost.
He announced to the crowd.
Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
Then you will receive the gift.
Of the Holy Spirit.
And so that's the requirement to believe in Jesus to turn to God and then you are able.
You have the opportunity to be baptized.
But I also threw on there anyone who believes that Jesus is the son of God may be baptized and also.
If you believe that Jesus is the son of God, you are fully authorized to baptize others, and that is the disciples make disciples and baptize those disciples.
Part of things in John chapter four we see the baptisms that were happening in the the Ministry of Jesus and it tells us specifically that Jesus.
Wasn't doing the baptizing, but his disciples were doing the babt.
Rising, and it's interesting to think about that because Jesus disciples were not just the 12, so we're not just talking about the 12 apostles, right?
Those become apostles later, but but there was always more disciples than just the 12 and and so it was the disciples that were baptizing, and it's interesting to think about.
Because you can kind.
Of put it this way that.
They were they were baby Jesus followers.
Time like they were brand new.
They just heard about Jesus.
They just heard you know Jesus pronounced some things and then they left their Nets and followed Jesus and the next thing it they know they're in the water that teising other people who are coming to hear Jesus and to follow Jesus.
Imagine if you lived in that time frame.
You're part of those you know, initial converts who believed in Jesus and you have the history.
And later on you're telling your testimony about how you heard Jesus.
And so you you went out there and you were baptized by Judas Iscariot.
Can you imagine those those who had that testimony?
He was at disciple?
He was baptizing people right now.
We know later on he went to betrayed the Lord, but that didn't invalidate all of those baptisms that he did with the with the Lord and all those who are being baptized right?
Because it's it's about the person who is received that change from the Lord.
And the person being baptized, it's it's what matters, right?
So any believer can baptize others.
I remember the testimony of Pastor Gil and Olivia.
Our missionaries in Bakersfield and I've been planting a church up there for a while, but when they first became believers they baptized each other in their tub at home like they just they were seeking the Lord and and learning about baptism and they decided we need to do this and so they just baptize each other in their own home and and that is totally, you know, something that the Lord would.
Not forbid or prevent.
Not to say that it should always be done that way, but but that's totally legit that it's not some huge requirement that some people make it out to be.
Some people get tripped up on baptism.
Should I get baptized?
Should I not?
What if I don't want to?
Why try to convince me?
You know if I don't have to, if it's not required for salvation?
I would just put it this way.
If you partake of communion and you've never been baptized, you should be baptized.
If you if you believe in the Lord enough to partake of communion, then it's a very similar type of thing.
It's a symbolic act, a symbolic thing that we do in light.
Of what God has done.
In our lives now, another question that comes up from time to time is well, can I be baptized if I've already been baptized and there's a multitude of reasons why someone might wrestle with that.
You know, maybe there was a previous religion or a previous church or a previous, you know type of thing and that causes these kinds of questions and so that is something that.
Comes up and I'm not going to answer.
All of you know those questions about it, but I do know that Roman has some really strong opinions about being baptized again, and he would suggest you don't need to be baptized again and.
I'd never gotten a real straight answer from him on why he just would tell me I know what I believe.
So if you want to know more about that, talk to Roman and press him for an answer and try to figure out what what it is that he believes.
'cause I can't quite get it out of him.
Listen, baptism is not required for salvation.
It's symbolic and I would suggest that if the symbolism of baptism has new meaning.
In your life.
Then absolutely you are welcome to and free to be baptized again to express that same thing.
And so if the death, burial or resurrection has taken on new meaning.
For you and in the place that God has for you.
So it might be appropriate, and it definitely could be something that the Lord puts upon your heart and prompts you to do in response to that work that God is doing.
It's not that well, you know, I believed in Jesus.
And then I messed up.
And so now I gotta be baptized again to be right with God.
No, no, no.
It's not that at all, but but if it's something that the Lord is stirring up.
But maybe there is a season of backsliding or a season of failure that the Lord has brought you out of and.
You feel it's appropriate.
This has new meaning for you.
My old life is gone.
Even my you know, old life that started after my new life.
But then I went back to the old life, so so that old life is gone and I'm starting fresh in this new life.
Maybe the Lord would prompt your heart in that to be baptized.
Or maybe it's a.
New season that you.
You have this prompting from the Lord that he's leading you into, and I think you can.
Look at the example of Jesus for that.
Jesus was baptized not because he needed that symbol of repentance because he was perfect and had no need of repentance, but also the baptism of Jesus is what marks that 3 1/2 years or so of ministry that he did upon the Earth, that public ministry that he had. And so it was a the beginning.
Of his, the stage where he was embarking on this new season of ministry and so.
The Lord had arranged for that to take place at that time as he was heading into that, and so there was this new life ahead.
This new work have got ahead and so he was baptized and so that that might be appropriate for you as well.
There might be something that God is just stirring in your heart that there's something old that you are getting rid of theirs.
Something new that he is sending you into and so if that is the case for you, then the Lord might prompt your heart and it would be acceptable for you to be baptized in that way.
So that's a quick rundown introduction on baptism.
Not as quick as I originally intended, so we're going to look now quickly at Isaiah Chapter one.
And talk about what the Lord is saying.
Here through Isaiah.
Titling the message this morning.
God offers forgiveness to his rebellious children.
God offers forgiveness to his rebellious children, the prophecies of Isaiah take place.
Verse one tells us during the time frame where the nation of Judah is in decline.
He highlights for us these various kings and you can look all of these guys up in the book of Second Kings and see the decline of the nation and where they're at.
As the nation continues to rebel more and more against God, Uziah was a good king, except for he made some mistakes towards the end of his life.
Jotham and Ahaz were both Wicked kings.
Hezekiah was a good king and brought about revival.
But then after him, Manasseh.
Isaiah lived into Manasis time as well, and Manasseh was the worst king that the nation of Judah ever saw.
The most wicked king that the nation of Judah ever saw, and so Isaiah is ministering to a nation that is on the road to destruction.
And they've been experiencing.
Some severe discipline from God already, as we'll see in the verses to come, and so they are being called by God back to repentance.
Now, as we head into this new segment of the Old Testament, we're looking at the prophets and their primary purpose was not to tell the future.
Sure, but to call God, people to repentance, and they did speak about the future many times as part of the ministry that God had given to them.
But the reason why the prophets were there and speaking, and we had these things recorded was because God people were rebelling against him.
And he was calling them back to right relationship.
With God and so Isaiah, Jeremiah, all these prophets that will be spending time in over the next few months are all focused on that singular purpose.
Calling people to right relationship with God, but the people of Israel, the people of Judah are in all out rebellion against God.
Now when you're.
Watching Star Wars.
It's OK to celebrate the rebellion, right?
That's that's appropriate.
But in biblical terms, this is rebellion against God and God here is saying these are my children, and I've taken care of them and provided for them.
And they have been fighting against me running from me, rebelling against me.
And we can understand in that light the judgment that they receive, and the judgment that God is declaring that will come if they do not repent.
But what's astounding?
What's most shocking about all of this is that in the midst of this, God offers forgiveness to his rebellious.
If you'll just consider the timeline for a moment here.
The Nation of Israel split into two Israel and Judah after King Solomon.
And after King Solomon, the nation was in decline and in rebellion against God the whole time.
And so there was the southern Kingdom, the the nation of Judah.
There was some good kings there, they would repent, and there would be a little bit of a revival.
But it was short lived and the next king would go into wickedness again, and and the people as a whole, even when there was good kings.
Continued to rebel against God, and so the two nations.
Once it's split in two, it's basically a downroad spiral all the way until the end.
But what's interesting about that is it's several 100 years.
Where God is patiently.
Being merciful, sending prophets to call them to repentance like Isaiah and Isaiah, you can kind of see if you look at the diagram here.
He's kind of right in the middle.
He's kind of right in the middle, where they've been rebellious already for a long time.
They're going to be rebellious for some time yet, but God is still giving them opportunity and chance to come back to get right and to be forgiven.
And so we're considering this forgiveness.
The patience of God.
Starting in verses one through four, we get point number one and that is God.
Children have rebelled.
Check out verses 2 through 4 here in Isaiah chapter one it says listen, oh heavens, pay attention Earth.
This is what the Lord says.
The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me.
Even an ox knows its owner and a donkey donkey recognizes its master's care.
But Israel doesn't know its master.
My people don't recognize my care for them.
Oh, what a sinful nation.
They are loaded down with a burden of guilt.
They are evil people.
Corrupt children who have rejected the Lord.
They have despised the holy one of Israel and turned their backs.
Here the Lord begins to address through the prophet Isaiah the issues of the nation and he's calling for witnesses.
This chapter really is laid out like a courtroom scene where God is calling people the universe, his creation to testify.
And to view what is taking place here and to really view it as the tragedy that it is.
God says the children I have raised.
And God is referring to that history and all that he has done for the people of Israel, that the goodness and mercy that he has shown, the miracles he's worked in their lives.
These people that I raised, that I've done so much for have rebelled against me.
It's not incredibly surprising when people who don't know God walk and live in a life of disobedience to God.
But what's shocking? What is surprising is that people who know God and have experienced God's work in their lives.
And yet they rebel against God.
This is what God is highlighting.
Here is making a public declaration so that all of creation would testify to the reality that is going on here with Israel in full rebellion against God.
And in this courtroom scene that is unfolding before it gets to the end, God's going to give them a settlement offer.
It's a common thing right in court cases today. You can take it all the way through, find out what the jury says, find out what the judge says at the end. But over 90% of actual court cases in our country settle.
Before the case is concluded, and and it's oftentimes beneficial to do that because, well, the final result might be much more challenging, much harsher than the settlement offer that you get in the midst of the trial or before the trial and and it's similar here.
That God is going to offer a settlement to get out of the court proceedings so that instead of receiving the judgment that they deserve for their rebellion, God is going to offer them a settlement of forgiveness and they'll have the opportunity.
It's not too late, even though they're this far along and hundreds of years.
Into the process of rebellion. It's not too late and God's going to give them an opportunity to turn and get.
Right with him now God goes on to contrast.
The nation of Judah and their relationship to God with the animals, he says.
Even an ox knows its owner.
Have you ever heard?
The expression where that guy is as dumb.
As an ox.
Josh says that about me all the time.
That guy is as dumb as an ox, right?
Oxen are not known for their intelligence, but they know who their owner is.
They know who their master is, but here you have God, people, God, children.
And they don't know their father.
They don't know to obey God, they don't know.
That he is their master.
Even a donkey, he says, recognizes its master's care.
There's an old.
Story, I don't know if it was really true, but a crime that took place in Israel and the criminal.
Rode the donkey to commit the crime, but was almost caught, so he fled the scene on foot and left the donkey.
And so the police just watched the donkey.
And the donkey returned back to its home, and they were able to catch the guy who had committed the crime because the donkey knows where its master is and how to get the care that it needs and where to be fed.
In that way, in oxen and a donkey, they're smarter. They're more intelligent than God's children, because here they are not coming to me for care, not coming to me for obedience and for instruction, but they're living their own life and doing anything that they want to do.
Oh, what a sinful nation they are.
God says in verse four loaded down with a burden of guilt.
They're evil, they're corrupt.
They've rejected the Lord.
They've turned their backs on him.
At one time they had their fronts toward him.
They were walking with God, drawing near to God pursuing God, but now they've made a change.
They've turned their backs toward God and are rebelling against him.
Now as we work.
Our way through the prophets over the next few months, it's really hard not to see a very real parallel that exists between God, people, the nation of Israel and Judah and our nation where there's so many similarities and parallels of having started out.
You know in.
Commitments to God and walking with God and and devoted to the things of God, and then the downward decline that comes.
The further Israel walked away from God, the more their nation declined, the more they suffered in a similar way.
Our nation continues that same parallel, that same trajectory, and so it is.
Not hard to apply these things to ourselves as we walk through these things, but also it's important to look at these things person.
And we can, you know, kind of, distract ourselves a little bit with the nation and the state of the nation.
But the state of the nation is the collection of all of us as individuals.
The nation of Judah had rebelled against God, but it wasn't that you know, most of the people were actually righteous, and that there was these few rebellious people that, you know, just really brought everybody else down.
No, the nation of Judah was.
A rebellious nation because the individual people of Judah, God, children.
They're in the nation.
Individually, we're living in rebellion against God.
That's true of our nation as well.
It's true of our church, perhaps that that we are a church who walks with God or his rebellious against God to the same degree that each of us as individuals walk with God, or our rebellious against God.
And if we want to be a church that is walking with God, then all of us as individuals.
We need to be people who walk with God and so this is about the nation.
But it's also very personal because we are the the makeup of the nation.
And so God children have rebelled, and that is a reality looking around our nation, no doubt about it.
We can understand there is a rebellion against God.
We can identify in the world around us, in our nation.
At the same time, I would really encourage us to look in the mirror and understand.
We also might be one of those children who is in rebellion against God.
It can happen.
To any one of us where at one point we had our fronts to God, we were pursuing God.
We've come to a place where our back has been turned.
Listen if it can happen to the apostle Peter.
It can happen to us and Galatians Chapter 2 the apostle Paul.
Talking about Peter and how the the Lord was working through Peter and bringing the gospel to the Jewish people.
And in a similar way, kind of he's comparing himself and God worked in a similar way through the apostle Paul and bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, and how both of them were involved in the work of God in this kind of way had similar roles with just different groups of people.
But then he says in verse 11 of Galatians 2, but when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face.
For what he did was very wrong.
And Peter there was.
Following that same course that he had been on before.
He was on the verge of.
Heading down the road of Legalism.
Causing issues not only in his own life.
But in the church.
By his example, and so Paul.
Is compelled here to address it and to say this is very wrong.
We cannot behave this way.
Listen, I only bring that up to say if it can happen to the apostle Peter.
It's going to happen in.
Our lives there are going to be many occasions in our lives where we are on the verge of heading down a course that is very wrong.
We're always going to be sinful and doing things that are very wrong. Sometimes we are at the cusp of a like A at in the road, and we're going to be heading down a path.
Entrenching ourselves in that thing that is very wrong, and we always have to be on guard against that God, children.
Do rebel against him there is that potential that opportunity and it's important for us to not just look at all those other people who are doing terrible things but to look in the mirror and say, Lord is it me?
Am I part of those children?
Who have rebelled against you?
Well, moving on to verses 5 through 9, we get point #2 this morning.
Godshill or God's rebellious children have resisted correction.
They've rebelled against God.
He's been seeking to call them to repentance.
He's been correcting them, but they're staying their course and they're being stubborn in their rebellion.
Look at verse five and six.
God says, why do you continue to invite punishment?
Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured and your heart is sick.
You are battered from.
Head to foot covered with bruises, welts and infected wounds without any soothing ointments or bandages.
Hear the Lord.
Really feels compassion for his people.
And he asked the question, why do you continue to invite punishment?
You've been rebellious.
You've been ignoring me.
You've been doing everything that you want to do and not doing the things that.
I'm calling you to do.
And so I've been allowing correction in your life.
I've been bringing in suffering and challenge and difficulty in Affliction.
I've been punishing you.
But instead of.
Hearing the punishment and responding to it, you've been insisting on your way and pushing forward in that and so now the end result as God describes it is they are battered from head to foot.
The nation of Judah has suffered tremendously.
Lost much territory.
Many people have been taken captive.
Many of their cities no longer exists.
There's only a few that are left now, with Jerusalem being the center and.
The capital of it.
But they were in such a tragic place from where they once were because they refused to listen to the punishment that God was bringing upon them.
In Hebrews chapter 12, the Lord tells us that he disciplines those that he loves.
And if you don't experience.
Discipline from God, God says.
You're not really my child.
And so as God children, we should expect when we are like Peter heading down a wrong path when we aren't doing what is wrong, we should expect God to bring discipline in our lives and that can look like different things depending on what God decides is best for us in the.
Rebellion that we are engaging in.
So it might be a word from the Lord.
It might be a tragic affliction.
It might be a difficulty, it might be a loss of a job.
It might be.
You know the same message from every you know radio station you turn on the Lord is speaking to you over and over and over again where you show up to church.
And it's the same message and God can call us back and discipline us in a variety of ways now.
Oftentimes in these kinds of passages, I'm very quick to invoke the example of job.
To remind us that.
Afflictions and difficulty in our lives are not always the results of sin, and that's important, but.
Also, it needs to be clearly said listen.
The reason why your life is so hard and difficult and challenging, and you're suffering so much might be.
Because you are experiencing God discipline and refusing to respond to God's call of repentance.
And so, perhaps verse six really describes you well.
You're battered from head to toe, covered with bruises and welts, and inflicted wounds.
Because you have chosen to disregard what God has said and to go your own way and God is calling you back.
The punishment is not punishment to make you pay for that sin.
The punishment is disciplined to call you to repentance, to help you see the destruction of the path that you're on and call you out of that sooner rather than later.
When you experience ultimate destruction.
And so God.
Is why you keep doing this to yourself.
You keep putting yourself in a position of more hurt and more pain because you refuse to turn from sin and do what is right.
Why do you continue to invite?
Pastor David Guzik says despite their sin, God did not wish.
Evil upon Judah.
Instead he longed for them to repent and to make it easy on themselves.
God chastised Judah, and they did not respond.
It's important to respond when we experience chastisement.
When we experience God, discipline in our lives.
That we don't just think that we can push on and put up with the discipline.
The discipline increases more and more and more in severity as we progress down that path of rebellion against God.
And so God's rebellious children have resisted correction. Verse seven, he describes their nation more clearly, he says your country lies in ruins and your towns are burned. Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see.
Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned like a watchman shelter in a vineyard.
Like a lean two in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege.
Your nation is in ruins.
Because you refuse.
To hear my call and turn back to me.
Their situation is so dire, God says in verse nine if the Lord of heavens armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom and destroyed like Gomorrah Sodom and Gomorrah experienced a complete and total destruction.
And if God had not been with us, Isaiah says, if he would not have been merciful.
There wouldn't even just be the few of us left.
There would be none of us left.
We deserved to be completely wiped out like Sodom and Gomorrah.
But because of God's mercy, we haven't been yet.
Becomes clear as you continue on in the passage.
But we will be if we don't turn and repent and respond to God discipline.
So this is in the middle of that.
And again, God is sending the prophet Isaiah to call them back to try to prevent that final destruction of the nation.
God's rebellious children have resisted correction. Verse 10 through 15 gives us point #3, and that is that God hates the fake religion of rebellious children.
God hates fake religion of rebellious children.
Verse 10 and 11 says listen to the Lord you leaders of Sodom, listen to the law of our God.
People of gomorrah.
What makes you think I want all your sacrifices, says the Lord?
I am sick of your burnt offerings, of Rams, and the fat of fattened cattle.
I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
God says what's wrong with you?
What makes you think?
That I want all your sacrifices.
Now think about the things we've been talking about leading up to this right.
People in rebellion against God, knowing what God wants, deliberately ignoring that, doing the opposite of it, pursuing exactly what they want.
Hearing God's call, refusing to to turn and repent at the same time, these same people are incredibly.
Faithful in their religious activity.
And so they are offering the sacrifices that got it prescribed for them in the Old Testament.
They're going to the temple.
They're participating in the church services.
We might call them.
They're going to worship.
They're engaging in the feast.
They're celebrating Passover.
They're they're very meticulous and they're keeping of all of those outward ceremonies and sacrifices.
And God says, what makes you think that I want you to?
Do any of that.
He is highlighting here much like baptism, these things that God had instructed were outward expressions.
Of an inward reality and the sacrifice itself is meaningless unless the heart is declaring what the sacrifice is declaring.
They learned that early on in their history as a Kingdom and.
The reign of King Saul for Samuel chapter 15.
King Saul disobeyed God and offered a sacrifice.
You get that he disobeyed God and offered a sacrifice, right?
And Samuel said dude, you totally messed up and you're going to lose the Kingdom now because you have totally disregarded what God has said.
But but I did a sacrifice.
I did something religious.
I did something for God.
And Samuel said, listen to obey is better than sacrifice.
The reality of the heart is really what's important.
The sacrifices were commanded by God and they were important, but they were only valuable to the degree that they reflected the reality of the person who is offering the sacrifice.
God does not want your offerings and sacrifices.
If they are not true expressions of what's happening within you.
Hypocrisy makes a mockery of God in his word.
And the sacrificial system was never about the blood of bulls and goats.
It was always about the heart.
It was always about God, people responding.
To what God was doing within them.
When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
Not only would they come and offer their sacrifices, but they would put on a show.
They would make a big deal of it and and celebrates their religion publicly.
And God says that makes it even more disgusting.
Who asked you to do that to put on a big show about the religion that you're practicing?
It's terrible because it looks great from the outside.
But God says, I see the heart, and you're rebellious against me, and you don't care what I say and you're not walking in the things that I instruct you.
To do and so.
This show is just complete, fake, it's false, it's fraud.
So God says you need to stop it.
Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts, the incense of your offerings disgusts me.
As for your celebrations of the new Moon, the Sabbath, and your special days for fasting, they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
Verse 14 I hate your new Moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me.
I cannot stand them.
Sometimes it's hard for us to.
Hear this language from God.
But you need to understand there are some cases where someone will come to church and God says I hate that you're coming to church.
Church now because he would reject anybody.
But because sometimes we we come not with a heart to know God to worship God, to hear from God, to receive from God, to be with God, people, we come in a religious sense where it's just the external.
It's limited to the show and it reflects nothing of what's actually happening internally.
God hates fake.
He hates it when we're faking it.
Who asked you to parade yourself and to come in this way?
Stop bringing meaningless gifts.
Listen, if you want nothing to do with God, stop coming to church.
Be honest and be real with yourself.
Be hot or be cold, right?
Don't try to be lukewarm and mix the two.
Now God call would be well.
Get right and come to church but get right and repent and come and get to know me and walk with me.
But you're trying to mix the two.
You're trying to be religious and continuing your rebellion, and that is.
FB Meyer says the outward expression.
Is absolutely worthless unless it is the expression of the inward and the spiritual, but where a pure and Holy Spirit is present.
The simplest forms are magnificent in their significance and value.
Sometimes we kind of put on a big pomp and ceremony.
That doesn't reflect an actual reality.
The God says, look when your heart's right.
It doesn't have to be this big to do, sometimes just something as simple as being baptized.
I mean, it takes like 30 seconds.
You're under the water.
We hold you down for five minutes.
No, no, not even 30 seconds and you come back up like it doesn't have to be this big, elaborate thing that costs yield kinds of money and requires all this preparation.
It's a simple, simple act of obedience, but it can have such huge significance.
And value when it accurately represents what's happening within your heart.
Verse 15 when you lift up your hands in.
Prayer I will not look.
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
I'm not going to hear your prayers.
I'm not going to listen to you.
Again, they were continuing to be very religious.
While they were very rebellious, well, all of that could.
Lead us to say.
Well God just get rid.
Of them they're, I mean, these people are terrible.
But that's not the way that God works. He's very patient, very merciful. And so now point. #4 God invites his rebellious children to repent. Verse 16, he says, wash yourselves and be clean.
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways, learn to do good seek justice, help the oppressed, defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Come now, let's settle.
This says the Lord, though your sins are like Scarlet, I will make them as white as snow, though they are red like Crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
God says, look, this is simple.
To get right to make this right.
To correct this situation.
You just need to turn and repent, wash yourself.
And be clean.
Stop practicing sin.
He says get that sin out of my sight.
Where can you practice sin that's out of?
God site nowhere.
He's saying stop living in sin give.
Up your evil ways.
And we learn to do good.
This is a good picture of repentance.
Repentance is stopping the sinful activity and starting in its place the right and appropriate activity.
So give up your evil ways on the one hand, and then learn to do good.
Learn to do what's right in place.
Of that evil and.
That wickedness that you were practicing.
God is not saying keep doing the evil and add sacrifices to it.
Keep doing the evil and do this elaborate religious ceremony.
Keep doing evil and be baptized.
All of that is disgusting.
God is saying stop doing evil.
And learn to do what's right.
He's not asking for like some huge overwhelming sacrifice in order to get right.
He's saying repent.
Stop living in sin and turn right.
Or turn back to me and get right with me.
Learn to do what is good and right.
Let's settle this.
God says in verse 18.
Let's settle this again.
This is like a court settlement.
It's the language that is in place all throughout this passage.
Instead of getting to the end of the trial, listen when we are in a rebellious place, the end of the trial for us is not good because we're guaranteed to be found guilty no matter how much religious ceremony we did and sacrifices we offered.
None of that is accepted when we are walking in rebellious and have a rebellious heart.
So at the end of the trial, it's guaranteed we're going to be found guilty.
We're going to receive the full penalty, and so our options are to walk to the end of the trial.
To be declared guilty and received the full penalty of sin against God.
I can make you as white as snow.
I can forgive your sins and wash you and you'll be as white as wool.
That's your choice.
Obey me and be forgiven.
Or continue to resist me and experience the full judgment for your sins.
Those are the options for us.
It's incredible that God even gives this as an option, but he says like we can settle out of court.
Don't take this to the.
End don't take.
This to eternity you take that rebellion to eternity and there is no escaping the judgment that.
You will receive.
But if you will turn from that rebellion right now.
And you'll start to obey me and walk with me and learn how to do what's good.
God says it doesn't matter how filthy you were, though your sins were like scarlet.
Though they're red like Crimson, the.
They're the worst of the worst of the worst.
I will make them as white as snow, as white as wool verse 19 if only.
You will obey me.
You will have plenty to eat.
You can get out of this difficult situation that you're in this challenging thing.
You're in this discipline that you're experiencing.
If only you will obey me.
But then he also gives the OR else in verse 20.
But if you turn away, if you refuse to listen, you will be devoured.
He gives us a very clear.
What a gracious and loving and merciful God it is to give us that choice.
To invite us.
And to receive his absolute cleansing and forgiveness no matter what we've done, no matter where we have been, though, your sins were like scarlet, like Crimson.
You'll be as white as snow.
And this again it ties in so well with the picture of baptism.
This is what baptism is all about.
It's that picture of repentance.
It's that picture of turning from a rebellion and saying God.
I don't want.
To live that way anymore.
But I'm going to receive your offer of forgiveness.
I'm going to identify with you, Jesus.
And my old life, my sinful nature, my rebellious activity and behavior that's now dead, left under the water, Barry.
And I'm coming up with a new life in Christ to walk the path that God has set before me.
To be cleansed of my sin to be white as snow.
To have right relationship with God.
As if I'd never sinned.
Not even one time.
This is what God is calling his people too.
It's what God is calling us too.
And just as the nation of Judah was a nation that knew God.
It was very religious.
Today we can be people who know God.
And be very religious.
And in dire need of repentance.
Dire need of.
The reality of what baptism represents.
That shedding that turning away of the old life, the sinful lifestyle, the rebellious behavior and the embracing of God's word, God's way gods.
Opportunity and offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
I'd like to finish this morning with.
The words of Ananias to Saul of Tarsus.
As told by the apostle Paul later on in acts Chapter 22, he says what are you waiting for?
Get up, be baptized, have your sins washed away by calling.
On the name of.
The Lord, what are you waiting for?
Caught offers forgiveness.
Even to his most rebellious children, you have the opportunity.
He holds it out before you to be washed to be clean.
What are you waiting for?
Why are you resisting that?
And let God do the work in you that he wants to do.
Lord, we thank you for your word.
We thank you for the incredible patience and grace and mercy that.
You showed to us that.
Lord, even in our worst conditions, and even knowing better when we still rebel against you and walk in the ways that we want to and ignore.
What you say?
But you don't just cut us off, you don't just give up on us.
But Lord, you continue to reach out and reach out and reach out and call us.
Lord, we know that opportunity comes to an end.
That window closes.
And so God, I pray for a great sense of urgency.
To all who need it.
Lord, that we would not continue down a path of destruction where we inflict ourselves with more and more pain and difficulty because we insist on living in these destructive ways.
God help us to hear your voice.
To see the opportunity clearly.
And it doesn't make sense to choose any other way but yours.
It doesn't make sense to choose any other.
Lifestyle, any other path, but the one that you've called us to.
And So what I pray.
That you would help us.
To do that, to choose you.
To turn to you.
To let the old things die and even the.
New things that are the old things.
In our lives.
That have crept in that have come back.
It would help us to put those to death.
That we might end their place.
Put the new life that you've called us to.
A new walk with you.
A fresh start with you.
I pray God that you would transform us.
And then use us to go and make those kinds of disciples also.
To give others the opportunity to hear God call.
Of repentance for forgiveness.
A new, glorious life with all the promises of your word.
Pray this in Jesus name.