Daily Bible Reading Devotional – July 20th, 2016

Scripture Reading(s)

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20

1:1 The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

1:11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

1:12 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more;

1:13 bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation– I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.

1:14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.

1:15 When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,

1:17 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

1:18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

1:20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.


Lydia.jpgWhen it comes to confessing our sins, God requires an open and honest heart ready to admit our wrongs and receive His forgiveness. In addition, He also requires us to be ready to change from our old habits and have a desire to live a life that acts in full obedience to Him.

The nation of Israel needed to understand that offering a sacrifice as a means to show repentance was not enough for God to forgive them. Their acts of confession had to also match with what was in their hearts. If their hearts were not truly sorry for what they had done, then their sacrifices and burnt offerings were meaningless. God cannot forgive a heart that is not genuinely repenting of what they have done .Our works cannot earn us forgiveness. No matter how big or small the sacrifices that the Israelites attempted to make in order to earn God’s favor, only resulted in His rejection because of where their hearts were.

God’s word speaks heavily on repentance and forgiveness. The well known passage found in 1 John 1:9 that says “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confessing however is more then just acts of obedience. Our hearts must align with God’s way of recognizing that sin is wrong. Titus 3:5 illustrates this point “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” When Christ died on the cross for us, He did not save us from sin due to anything we have done. He forgives based on His changing work in our lives but we must be ready to confess that we are in need of saving. 


What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (Isaiah 1:11)

Just about 100 – 150 years before this message of Isaiah, Amos delivered a similar message to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. God was very upset by the hypocritical religious practices of His people.

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (Amos 5:21-23)

Throughout history God has desired authenticity in His people. He takes no delight in a mouth that praises His name while the rest of the body worships something else. He detests religious practice just for the sake or religion. He is looking for followers that will produce good fruit with their lives. He is looking for people who will walk as Jesus walked. He is looking for people who will worship in truth and who will talk the walk.

Is that you?

[Featured image from citizensandsons.wordpress.com]

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