Isaiah 1:19-20 English Standard Version
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 eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
This is the end of our personal responsibilities. The rest of the chapter deals with the communities we live in, in the world.
There is little to be said about a willing and obedient heart. It is all good.
Rebellion on the other hand has so many verses to offer that it can be overwhelming to the initiate in Christ. If I were to leave you here and not speak to all those passages, I would encourage you to know you belong to the Lord and nothing you do will change that.
He chastens those He loves, He does not abandon you. Do not lose heart if you are still receiving the chastening of the Lord. It says you belong to the Lord and not that other guy.
Hebrews 4:12 English Standard Version (ESV) For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
This is a good thing which is meant for our good and should not be denied. Keep reading and allow the sword, the Word do its work.
Notice that word becomes sword by the addition of His S, Spirit. That is not a happy accident.
Reading the Word of God without the help of the Holy Spirit gains us nothing of substance.
Isaiah 1:16-18 English Standard Version
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. 18 “Come now, let us reason[remove doubt] 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.
Now we have come full circle to the point where this study was inspired. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. These verses are directed towards us in our present state now that we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
Verse 16 should be seen as confession and repentance. Removing deeds of evil has to be seen as refraining from things we know of a truth to be wrong. The label of sin has been removed, it is now based on knowing truth and doing truth.
Verse 17 is speaking to us about the desires of the indwelling Christ who is truth and leads us in righteous paths. We are told these truths and it is up to us to walk with Him.
Verse 18, once again is to be understood as removing all doubt, to be clear in what Christ asks of us as individuals in relationship. We might see ourselves as damaged goods but He does not. How to change our opinion of ourselves will come by hearing the truth and obeying the truth.
What is good for us as individuals is a matter best suited to our Lord to determine. As I once told a dear friend, “You are the Lord’s temple, He will clean it as He see fits.”
“But there are dust bunnies under the bed!”
He knows that as He kills the scorpion on the ceiling.