Read for This Week’s Study: Isa: 1:1-9, Isa: 1:10-17, Isa: 1:18, Isa: 1:19-31, Isa: 5:1-7.
Memory Text: “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’ ” (Isaiah 1:18).
Lost in the land of forgetfulness. If you drive in Ireland along a narrow country lane lined with hedgerows, you may find the way blocked by a herd of cows ambling home after a crunchy meal. Even if no herdsman is with them, they will go to their owner’s barn. They will know where, and to whom, they belong.
If a small boy in a store gets separated from his mother and yells, “I’ve lost my mommy!” he may not know exactly where he is, or where his mother is, but amid a sea of mothers walking through the store, he will know the one mother who, alone, is his own.
Sad to say, unlike even those Irish cows (much less the little lost boy), the Judeans forgot that they belonged to the Lord, their heavenly Lord, and thus lost their true identity as the covenant people. “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not understand” ( Isaiah 1.2-3, NRSV).
This week we’ll take a look at God’s work to restore His people to Himself.