Daily Devotionals

Peace Week 2: Wednesday

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Recently I spilled a cup of coffee all over the rug in my den area. Needless to say, it was a mess. Thankfully, I had some stain remover that got any remaining coffee stain out of the rug after all of the coffee was cleaned up. Now, when I look at the rug, I don’t remember the coffee spill or think of the rug as a stained rug. Why? The stain is gone. I don’t remember it anymore. It is just like before I spilled my infamous coffee all over it. This silly story illustrates a much greater picture to me of God’s forgiveness. You see, God forgives completely. When He forgives us, there are no stains of past mistakes left that He sees when He looks at us. He forgives fully so that our sins are completely wiped away.

Isaiah reminded the people of Israel that when they turned back to God and asked for forgiveness, He would completely wipe them away. Isaiah 1 explains God’s grievances against His people and calls them out for their sins. He expresses frustration because of the way they have been living. But very soon after expressing this frustration, God offers hope. He spoke through the prophet Isaiah who wrote, “’ Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool’” (Isaiah 1:18). What beautiful words to read. Yes, our sins grieve God and bring ultimate separation from Him, but His forgiveness is complete. When we place our faith in Him, confess our sin, and turn back to Him, he washes us “white as wool.” Our sins are wiped away. He does not see our sin anymore. That is the hope His forgiveness brings.

My friend, when we place our faith in Jesus, we are no longer defined by our sin. It has been washed away. It no longer has a hold on you. Find hope in Jesus’ forgiveness and healing today.

Moving toward action

God’s forgiveness is astounding. He forgives eagerly, repeatedly, and completely. This news is too good to keep to ourselves. Have a conversation with someone today whom you know is far from Christ. Tell them about what you learned in your Bible study today about God’s forgiveness and how He offers it eagerly, repeatedly, and completely. Invite them to have a conversation about God and His love and forgiveness any time they would like.

Going Deeper

Isaiah 1:1-20 (NLT)

These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.

Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth!

This is what the Lord says:

“The children I raised and cared for

have rebelled against me.

Even an ox knows its owner,

and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—

but Israel doesn’t know its master.

My people don’t recognize my care for them.”

Oh, what a sinful nation they are—

loaded down with a burden of guilt.

They are evil people,

corrupt children who have rejected the Lord.

They have despised the Holy One of Israel

and turned their backs on him.

Why do you continue to invite punishment?

Must you rebel forever?

Your head is injured,

and your heart is sick.

You are battered from head to foot—

covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—

without any soothing ointments or bandages.

Your country lies in ruins,

and your towns are burned.

Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes

and destroy everything they see.

Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned

like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard,

like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest,

like a helpless city under siege.

If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies

had not spared a few of us,

we would have been wiped out like Sodom,

destroyed like Gomorrah.

Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.”

Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”

“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?”

says the Lord.

“I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams

and the fat of fattened cattle.

I get no pleasure from the blood

of bulls and lambs and goats.

When you come to worship me,

who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?

Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;

the incense of your offerings disgusts me!

As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath

and your special days for fasting—

they are all sinful and false.

I want no more of your pious meetings.

I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.

They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!

When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.

Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,

for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.

Wash yourselves and be clean!

Get your sins out of my sight.

Give up your evil ways.

Learn to do good.

Seek justice.

Help the oppressed.

Defend the cause of orphans.

Fight for the rights of widows.

“Come now, let’s settle this,”

says the Lord.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,

I will make them as white as snow.

Though they are red like crimson,

I will make them as white as wool.

If you will only obey me,

you will have plenty to eat.

But if you turn away and refuse to listen,

you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.

I, the Lord, have spoken!”