Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
The Prophet Isaiah (like many of the Old Testament prophets), was utilized by God to convict God’s people of their sinfulness and convince them of God’s desire to make them clean.
In the first chapter of the book of Isaiah, the people are accused of false faithfulness and worship. They come to God’s house with offerings in their hands – the same hands that had been used in the mistreatment of others.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
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.
12 When you come to appear before me,[a]
who asked this from your hand?
Trample my courts no more;
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.
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
I am weary of bearing them.
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.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.
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.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be devoured by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
When we come before God with a true desire to live more fully as God’s people, we need to bring our empty hands. We need to let go of the things which we have done in offense to God and others, and let God take our scarlet sins and wash them like snow.
The editors of the Glory to God Hymnal suggest a connection between the words in Isaiah chapter one and hymn #442.
Just as I am, without cone plea, but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou biddest me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come.
God, I don’t really have anything to bring to bribe your into loving me more, and you don’t want that type of relationship. I come into your presence today thankful for the love and grace you show me in Jesus, eager to live more fully as His obedient disciple. Amen.