Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm
Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 (MSG)
“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is God’s Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool.”
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.” -AMPLIFIED
The Lord was speaking through Isaiah to the people of Israel sharing these words of encouragement and comfort. “Come now”, and invitation from Him, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, to His wayward children. Come, let us reason together; let us work this out. Words of welcome, not words of condemnation. The Almighty One was not screaming words of damnation, “Depart from me”….but words of acceptance and comfort.
Yes, we were in sin. Yes, we are a sinful people, but though our sins were like unto scarlet He can make us white as snow. Notice it is not we ourselves who are doing the cleaning up part, but God.
Something to note; scarlet was the name of a worm in Hebrew. This particular worm was used in creating a dye that was of an intense scarlet red. Which brings to mind the words from Isaac Watts hymn “At the Cross”, where he states, ”Alas! and did my Savior bleed, And did my Sovereign die? Would he devote that sacred Head, For such a worm as I?”
“Bible commentators say that scarlet portrays sin, not only to denote its dreadful character, but also to emphasize its indelible nature. They tell us that you can immerse a cloth in any other color and the stain can be removed. Once red dye has been thoroughly set in a piece of goods, however, no scientific method is know that can successfully eliminate it without damaging the fabric. Even if the material is rubbed and scrubbed until threadbare, the fibers that are left will still retain their crimson hue. Sin is thus pictured as being indelible as far as human efforts to remove it are concerned. There is nothing man himself can do to change his evil nature and turn it into the white purity of holiness. God alone has the power to erase the terrible stain of our sin.” -(NET Bible Sermon Illustrations)
God stays the execution and grants pardon to the guilty sinner, for another has paid the price to set the sinner free and allow the granting of “amnesty”. The word amnesty is from the word from which we get amnesia which means to forget. What a beautiful picture this presents, for when the holy God washes away our unholy sins, they are completely forgotten. We’re left whiter than snow, purer than wool.
The Apostle Paul sets us straight with these words he wrote to the Romans, “God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.” -Romans 3:25-26 (MSG)
No matter how terrible our lives were or are we can never be so awful that God cannot save us, clean us up and make us right with Him. There is no such thing as falling too far from God that His grace will not cover our sins. His grace is greater than all of our sin. His love is so overwhelming that He it reaches to the lowest sinner in the darkest places and whispers, “Child, I love you. I will forgive you if you will but ask me to. I will wash away your sin that is like scarlet if you will let me. I can wash you white as snow and give you a fresh start; please let me. I love you.”
Father God in Heaven, your grace is astounding! The fact that you pursue the worthless, unrepentant sinner in order to love them and give them meaning in this life is mind-boggling. Yet, this is exactly what you do; you take the broken ones, the insignificant ones, the ones who have run from you and change them into shining servants that do works of love for You. God, your hand in my life has changed me forever and I will never go back to the way things were before you came into my life. I am forever Yours. Thank you for taking the initiative to change me and make me a productive part of your Creation and Kingdom. Though my sins were scarlet, You made me as white as snow.