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Friday, October 5, 2012
“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. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah 1: 18-20
I heard this passage for the first time last night. Well I've probably heard it before but never really paid much attention to it. I have a tendency to overlook scripture from the Old Testament and focus on the New Testament. Personal preference I suppose and the fact that the Old Testament has a lot of stuff going on that, well, I thought was boring or rather hard to understand.
And I suppose God seems a little harsh to me in the Old Testament. I mean there is a lot of gnawing and gnashing of teeth, famine and such. However broken into segments and then examined it is easier, for me at least, to digest. I purchased a book that breaks down the bible to better interpret it, and the Old Testament is actually very fascinating. The context is written for that time, so things that mean something today had a totally different meaning then. The bible isn't meant to be taken as an accurate account of history but of how we are to live and so the stories are meant to portray what God expects from us and the consequences when we disobey. And God really did give many second chances. There are many praises to God through good and bad. My interpretation of this passage God is saying, listen we can work this out even though you have done many bad things. But you have to follow me to receive the graces I have in store for you. If you choose not to well, then, whatever happens to you is on you.
Think of a parent warning their child not to touch a hot stove, but the child doesn't listen and touches it anyways. They cry and run to their parent for comfort and the parent receives them with open arms but admonishes them for not listening. Now the child knows not to touch the hot stove again and will hopefully listen the next time. That child will undoubtedly disobey a thousand times but the parents love for them will never diminish. That is how God is with us; frustrated I am sure but His love for us is never diminished.
That is why I always love reading the New Testament because Jesus is all about love and forgiveness. The stories and letters are full of His healing and forgiving. It brings me comfort that even though I have a sinful nature and will slide down the hill every once in a while, He is there for me, with open arms ready to comfort me. God’s love and forgiveness is greater than are minds can comprehend. But just knowing I can have many second chances helps me to grow as a Christian and that is all I need.