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WILLING AND OBEDIENT

It is so important to keep verses of Scripture in context when we study them. It is the only way to learn the true meaning of the Word. See what the Lord told Israel would make their prayers be heard. He refused to hear their prayers when their hands were full of blood. ISA 1:16-19 states, "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." To do what is just is to do that which is upright and honest without any conniving, bickering, or gainsaying.

Notice the condescension of our blessed Lord to one who has his brother’s blood on his hands. Verse 18 begins saying, "Come now, and let us reason together." See how our Lord pleads with us! He is asking, "Is it reasonable that Christ should cover all our sins from before His face with His life’s blood, and then you should uncover your brother’s sins and spread them to the wind, thus getting Christ’s blood on your hands? Isn’t it reasonable that you should repent of your iniquities before you come before Me to ask any petition of Me?" Then after teaching that we must first repent, He says, "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."

I have heard this verse quoted many times in my life, but never once in its context. Now let’s read it in context: "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. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

Do you see that the cleansing of our sins is contingent upon being willing and obedient; not only that, but if we are rebellious, we will perish. Does that mean there is contingency with God? From eternity God has decreed and chosen His elect. The Word of God clearly shows that, but DEU 29:29 says, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." We are not to govern our lives by the secret will of God. Jonah did; read JON 4:1-2. Jonah presumed upon the secret will of God and absolutely defied the revealed will of God.

"Come now, and let us reason together..." Is it reasonable? Is it logical to come before the Lord with your brother’s blood on your hands, and expect Him to hear your prayers? That is why the Lord calls for repentance first! Verses 15-17 say, "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

Do we desire to be the friends of Jesus? See what Jesus said in JOH 15:14, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Notice the word "if" in that sentence. It doesn’t say anything about being predestined or elected. It says nothing about the secret will of God. We are told we will be His friends if we do whatever He commands us to do. We are to govern our lives by the revealed will of the Lord.

See Cain’s reaction in GEN 4:13, "And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear." Cain’s only remorse was over the consequences of his sin. How many people today are heaven seekers; they seek heaven to escape the consequences of their sins. They have no desire to walk in the way of the Lord. They have no desire to serve the Lord according to His will. They do not truly love the Lord. Examine your heart that it does not have the spirit of Cain. Amen.


Our sermons and devotions are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a  daily devotion and sermon notes on-line. We pray this devotion has been a blessing to those who read it. Thank you.

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