Isaiah 1:16-31 A Call and Declaration to Jerusalem CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jerusalem had strayed so far from the Lord that Isaiah had to preach to her the way a preacher has to preach to the lost. He made a:
Call to Righteousness – v.16-17 – Jerusalem was evil, so they had to get right – wash you, make you clean [Jer 4:14] – put away evil [typically accomplished by capital punishment Deut 13:5, 17:7, 17:12, 19:19, 21:21, 22:21-24, etc] – cease to do evil; learn to do well [see examples in Ezek 18:5-13] – seek judgment [Prov 21:3] – relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow [Jer 22:3, Job 31:16-22].
Call to Reason – v.18-20 – The Lord made Jerusalem an offer and reason says they should have accepted – he would make their scarlet and crimson sins as wool and as white as snow [Jer 31:31-34, that day is surely coming] – the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land [Deut 28:2-12] – the rebellious shall be devoured with the sword [Deut 28:15-25].
Call to Realization – v.21-23 – Like sinners presented with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, they won’t accept Him until they REALIZE their true condition of sin before him – Jerusalem was terribly corrupt – the faithful city, formerly full of judgment and righteousness, had become a harlot [Ezek 16:28-42] – now murderers [like 2 Ki 21:16; 24:4] – their silver was dross [Ezek 22:18-19] – their princes were rebellious [and so they went into captivity Ezek 17:12] – they were companions of thieves [Jer 7:9-11] – they loved gifts and followed after rewards [thus perverting their judgment Ex 23:8, Deut 16:19] – they judged not the fatherless and others [which was a bad mistake Zech 7:9-11].
Declaration of Restoration – v.24-26 – Jerusalem had become the adversary and enemy of God and he was going avenge himself of them [that’s the worst thing that could have happened Lam 2:1-8] – he would purge their dross and take away their tin [this involved wiping out the wicked among them, Mal 3:2-5; Prov 25:4-5] – but in the end he will restore their judges and counselors and Jerusalem shall be called ,”The city of righteousness, the faithful city,” [compare Zech 8:3, Ezek 48:35; 2 Chr 6:6].
Declaration of Redemption – v.27 – Zion shall be redeemed [Mic 4:10; Is 51:11] – the Lord will judge her enemies and establish his righteousness in her [Jer 33:16].
Declaration of Eradication – v.28-31 – The transgressors and sinners shall be destroyed [Ps 104:35] – they were ashamed of the oaks … confounded for the gardens [where they had been sacrificing to their idols Is 57:5, 65:2-3] – but the Lord was going to dry them up as a garden that hath no water – and he would kindle a fire among them whereby the strong would be as tow [the fiber of flax and hemp] and the maker of “it” [the idol ] would be as the spark – they’ll burn and the fire will never be quenched [Is 66:24; Ezek 20:47-49].