SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1:11 “Of what importance to me are your many sacrifices?”
says the Lord.
“I have had my fill of burnt sacrifices,
of rams and the fat from steers.
The blood of bulls, lambs, and goats
I do not want.
12 When you enter my presence,
do you actually think I want this—
animals trampling on my courtyards?
13 Do not bring any more meaningless offerings;
I consider your incense detestable!
You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations,
but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!
14 I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies;
they are a burden
that I am tired of carrying.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I look the other way;
when you offer your many prayers,
I do not listen
because your hands are covered with blood.
16 Wash! Cleanse yourselves!
Remove your sinful deeds
from my sight.
17 Learn to do what is right.
Give the oppressed reason to celebrate.
Take up the cause of the orphan.
Defend the rights of the widow.
18 “Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins have stained you like the color red,
you can become white like snow;
though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,
you can become white like wool.