Isaiah 1 Commentary
From verse 1, we can tell that the author is not the same as the prophet Isaiah. He is simply the compiler of the prophecies, otherwise called vision or visions of the prophet Isaiah. The vision concerns Judah but Judah isn’t the only audience. We shall learn shortly that Isaiah’s vision is for humanity in its entirety.
Of course, different objects are used to describe humanity, both in space and time, but the core message remains the same: “Come now, let us settle the matter,” 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.”
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” It is a message that shines a light into the life of every individual. Am I doing right? Is there justice in my dealings? Have I stood up to defend the oppressed? Have I taken sides with the fatherless and pleaded the case of the widow?
Of course, Judah failed this test. But we know why. “They have forsaken the LORD.” They don’t understand. They don’t know the Holy One of Israel. So the message to humanity is that humanity has forsaken the LORD God.
There is also a warning for the religious. “Quit your worship charades… monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings – meetings, meetings, meetings.” A frenzy of sacrifices. The message of the Bible is simple: do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Then the LORD wonders why humanity cannot see her troubles as a direct consequence of godlessness.
Cause and effect; basic problem identification. It should be simple but who bothers. Salvation is not complex. Here we have it.
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