SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1:1 Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah reigned over Judah.
2 Listen, O heavens,
pay attention, O earth!
For the Lord speaks:
“I raised children, I brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me!
3 An ox recognizes its owner,
a donkey recognizes where its owner puts its food;
but Israel does not recognize me,
my people do not understand.”
4 Beware sinful nation,
the people weighed down by evil deeds.
They are offspring who do wrong,
children who do wicked things.
They have abandoned the Lord,
and rejected the Holy One of Israel.
They are alienated from him.
5 Why do you insist on being battered?
Why do you continue to rebel?
Your head has a massive wound,
your whole heart is sick.
6 From the soles of your feet to your head,
there is no spot that is unharmed.
There are only bruises, cuts,
and open wounds.
They have not been cleansed or bandaged,
nor have they been treated with olive oil.
7 Your land is devastated,
your cities burned with fire.
Right before your eyes your crops
are being destroyed by foreign invaders.
They leave behind devastation and destruction.
8 Daughter Zion is left isolated,
like a hut in a vineyard
or a shelter in a cucumber field;
she is a besieged city.
9 If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had not left us a few survivors,
we would have quickly been like Sodom,
we would have become like Gomorrah.
10 Listen to the Lord’s message,
you leaders of Sodom!
Pay attention to our God’s rebuke,
people of Gomorrah!
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.