Our Gentle God

By D’Ann Davis

“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 like crimson, they shall become like wool.  If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 1:18-20

Throughout the book of Isaiah we see myriad announcements to different peoples about their impending doom if they do not repent to the Lord, and their subsequent salvation if they do.  Though in Chapter 1, verses 18-20, we see the tenderness of God highlighted in an intimate way.  In a book that so exalts His transcendence in judgment and justice over the nations and His Sovereign reign over the future, this handful of verses is a snap-shot of His equally powerful immanence and tender care.  God is just, God is righteous, God is merciful, and in these verses we see that He is also close and reasonable.

God gently calls to the people of Judah to reason with Him and think through their actions.  Their rebellion against Him would not only defile them but would be their ruin.  God is a generous and good God.  He wants us to walk in the fullness of all that to which He has called us.  He does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9), but wants us all to come to repentance.  He is patient and longsuffering with us and we see that highlighted in verse 18.  God assures His children that if they would repent, even though their sins were as scarlet, He would cleanse them and make them white as snow.  He emphasizes that in sowing repentance they would reap the benefits of life in Him, but in sowing rebellion, they would reap destruction.

God makes the same tender call to us all the time.  Do we hear His voice?  Verse 20 tells us “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Are we listening to the words of His mouth?  Let us hear His gentle, kind call, knowing that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).  When God speaks to us asking us to reason with Him and think through what we are doing, let us not hear condemnation, but invitation, knowing that through the blood of Christ, even our darkest stain might be made clean.  Hear His call today.  If He is calling you to reason together with Him, then listen to His word, and come and be made clean.