Come... let us reason together

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

Come for Cleansing.

Can it be that the Almighty is inviting us to debate the issue of our sins?  It is not a question as to whether we have any or not but what can be done about them.  In thinking about these things we should remember the words of the apostle John when he says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) and again, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10).

Let us be clear about the matter: the people of Israel in the days of Isaiah are described as a “sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers… they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger” "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isa. 1:4).  The moral condtition of the people is so bad that he likens them to a leprous man: (Isa. 1:6)

Oh, they had religion a-plenty: offerings, incense, holy days, prayers and other observances but they were morally corrupt and the Lord had had enough.

Now this is not to say that everyone who reads these words are in such a state, but one thing which we cannot deny is that we have sin, and we have sinned; as the apostle tells us “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) and something needs to be done about it.

Let us pause here and consider.  The LORD is calling them, and us, to come to Him to debate as it were the matter of our sins, which He describes vividly like ‘scarlet’ and like ‘crimson.’  Two colours in greater contrast to the purity of white could not be found, and that is how we are seen.

The wonder of it all is that God is placing before us a choice: we can exercise the obedience of faith and a willingness to hear and be cleansed or we can "refuse and rebel refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Ch.1:19,20).

The offer still stands today: and writing to the Christians at Ephesus the apostle Paul expresses their shared joy in Christ “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph 1:7).  The wonder of God’s great salvation is that Christ has died for us on the Cross at Calvary and that he has made us “accepted in the beloved.” (Eph. 1:6).

John Wesley caught the spirit of things when he wrote the hymn “Great God of Wonders.”

GREAT God of wonders! all thy ways

Display the attributes divine;

But countless acts of pardoning grace

Beyond thine other wonders shine:

Who is a pardoning God like thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

In wonder lost, with trembling joy

We take the pardon of our God;

Pardon for crimes of deepest dye,

A pardon bought with Jesus's blood:

Who is a pardoning God like thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

Pardon-from an offended God!

Pardon-from sin of deepest dye!

Pardon-bestowed through Jesus's blood!

Pardon-that brings the rebel nigh!

Who is a pardoning God like thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

May this strange, this matchless grace,

This God-like miracle of love,

Fill the wide earth with grateful praise,

As now it fills the choirs above!

Who is a pardoning God like thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

May the Lord help anyone who reads these words and has not yet found salavation and cleansing in Christ, be enabled so to do.   


© Douglas Carr 2021