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Daily Devotions – The Wickedness of Israel

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Isaiah 1:1-3 (ESV)

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

The Wickedness of Judah

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;  for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me.The ox knows its owner,  and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”

Isaiah 1:11-17 (ESV)

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 well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.12 “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? 13 Bring no more vain offerings;  incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—  I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.15 When you spread 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. 16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17  learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

In verse 2 God is calling the heavens into court and is putting the Israelites on trial. He has seen their wickedness and is about to pass judgment. Vs. 12 calls the Israelites to appear before God to defend themselves.They could show God how they kept their sacrificial rituals and laws of the Temple! But that is not what God, the judge, desires. Instead, God desires goodness, justice, and care for the widows and fatherless (vs. 17). If God is this demanding of the Israelites then we also should repent of our wickedness and seek to do good, act justly and care for those in need. Today, allow God’s cleansing Spirit to move in your heart and make room for a king of justice, mercy and love