Isaiah 1:21-5:30 (KJV)
Joseph Murphy, Retired Pastor
It is written that Isaiah is the chief of writing among the prophets. Isaiah means “Jehovah is salvation,” and he is considered the great Messianic prophet and prince of the Old Testament. This passage seems so relevant for this day and age. We see the Lord telling us in chapter 1 that the children he brought up (Jerusalem and Judah) have rebelled against him. “They are a sinful nation, laden with iniquity.” However, God shows his love and mercy by stating, “Come now, and let us reason together…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (vs.18). This prophecy will be fulfilled when Christ comes back and they realize that he was their crucified Messiah.
I believe that the vision described in Chapter 2 is not just of Judah and Jerusalem, but describes God judging all nations, including America. It will be a fearful time! “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks and into the caves of the earth for the fear of the LORD and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (vs.19). An Important truth struck me as I read on: “And I will give children to be their leaders” (Isaiah 3:4). This is very telling, as it seems that when a nation turns from God, he gives them men who are not strong leaders.
As we move through the passage, God’s people are shown their sins. The women were concerned only with their looks, what they wore, and their desire to be noticed (Isaiah 5:16-24). Some of the nations’ sins as a whole were greed, injustice, drunkenness and pride. They called “evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Only genuine repentance would save them. It reminds me of the hymn “Nothing but the Blood”, sung many times at Good Friday services. Here are the words to the first verse and chorus:
“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
I remember the day Joan and I were snow-shoeing on the hill behind the church I pastored. Coming out from among the rows of trees into the open field, the sun suddenly came out from behind the gray clouds and lit up the newly fallen snow, so bright that it blinded my eyes. I had never seen the snow so white and clean. I was reminded of that verse in Isaiah, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Right then I praised God knowing that in 1968 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, and that He saw me as white as snow. Do you remember when you were made white as snow?