Two scriptures from Isaiah today. One about (in my words) God’s people ‘playing church’ and being ‘religious’ and God calling them to repentance and cleansing. And the other about God’s people arising (waking up) and being His light to the nations and His glory shining through them!
10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God,you people of Gomorrah! 11 “The multitude of your sacrifices — what are they to me?” says the LORD.”I have more than enough of burnt offerings,of rams and the fat of fattened animals;I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me,who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations — I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals 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 in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless,plead the case of the widow.
18 “Come now, let us reason together,”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. 19 If you are willing and obedient,you will eat the best from the land; 20 but if you resist and rebel,you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. NIV
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light,and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:All assemble and come to you;your sons come from afar,and your daughters are carried on the arm. 5 Then you will look and be radiant,your heart will throb and swell with joy;the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,to you the riches of the nations will come. 6 Herds of camels will cover your land,young camels of Midian and Ephah.And all from Sheba will come,bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD. 7 All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you,the rams of Nebaioth will serve you;they will be accepted as offerings on my altar,and I will adorn my glorious temple.
8 “Who are these that fly along like clouds,like doves to their nests? 9 Surely the islands look to me;in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your sons from afar,with their silver and gold,to the honor of the LORD your God,the Holy One of Israel,for he has endowed you with splendor.
10 “Foreigners will rebuild your walls,and their kings will serve you.Though in anger I struck you,in favor I will show you compassion. 11 Your gates will always stand open,they will never be shut, day or night,so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations — their kings led in triumphal procession. 12 For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish;it will be utterly ruined.
13 “The glory of Lebanon will come to you,the pine, the fir and the cypress together,to adorn the place of my sanctuary;and I will glorify the place of my feet. 14 The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you;all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD,Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Although you have been forsaken and hated ,with no one traveling through,I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations. 16 You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts.Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior,your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold,and silver in place of iron.Instead of wood I will bring you bronze,and iron in place of stones.I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler. 18 No longer will violence be heard in your land,nor ruin or destruction within your borders,but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. 19 The sun will no more be your light by day,nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,for the LORD will be your everlasting light,and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun will never set again,and your moon will wane no more;the LORD will be your everlasting light,and your days of sorrow will end. 21 Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever.They are the shoot I have planted,the work of my hands,for the display of my splendor. 22 The least of you will become a thousand,the smallest a mighty nation.I am the LORD;in its time I will do this swiftly.” NIV
May the Lord speak to us through His Word.