Wednesday Devo

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 1
10 Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.”
Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
11 “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?”
says the Lord.
“I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened cattle.
I get no pleasure from the blood
of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to worship me,
who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
13 Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16 Wash yourselves and be clean!
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
17 Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.

Commentary from the ESV Study Bible:

1:10–20 These verses highlight the hypocrisy of the people’s worship. Isaiah, like other prophets who comment on sacrificial practices, recognizes that God appointed the system of worship and authorized the central sanctuary. But these ordinances were always intended to foster true piety among God’s people, which would move them to humble purity of heart and energetic promotion of others’ well-being. Isaiah denounces the way his contemporaries have divorced the ordinances from their proper purpose. It seems that they treated their worship as a way of manipulating God; they also mixed in elements from Canaanite religions (v. 29).
1:10–17 God rejects his people’s worship, however lavish, because they use it as a pious evasion of the self-denying demands of helping the weak (cf. James 1:27). Even lifting their hands in prayer avails nothing, for your hands are full of blood (Isa. 1:15; see 59:3).
1:17 seek justice, correct oppression. Doing good in God’s sight includes seeking the just functioning of society (note, by contrast, v. 23).

Study Questions:

  • God is a refuge for the VICTIM. We've all been hurt by another Christian or a church. We've all been victims. Isaiah 1 speaks of seeking justice, helping the oppressed, defending the cause and fighting for rights. Many Christians and churches have become way too obsessed with their own rights and freedoms, and there's not near enough focus on the rights and freedom of oppressed people in our country. God, however, is concerned for the oppressed. A genuine faith and understanding of righteousness will produce in us empathy and action for actual victims of oppression. Do you let your faith and knowledge of God's Word drive what you stand for and to whose defense you come ? Do you have true empathy for oppressed people in our society? Does your faith inform your politics or do your politics inform your faith?

  • We've been reading this week from Psalm 7, where David is asking God to intervene and rescue him from his enemies that are unjustly persecuting him. Because of our selfishness we tend to read ourselves into the role of David in Psalm 7. But wait! What if you aren't the victim? Here's an interesting thought to ponder: What if YOU are the oppressor with your boot on neck the victim? Is there someone in your life that could be praying this psalm with YOU as the enemy? If so, is this a situation you need to rectify?

Pray:

  • That you would learn to do good, seek justice, help the oppressed, defend the cause of orphans, and fight for the rights of widows.
  • That you would make sure you aren't playing the role of oppressor. 

This Week's City 7:

Try to commit to memory! 

1. Who is Jesus? I believe Jesus is God because Jesus said He is God and proved it by rising from the dead and appearing to His disciples, His brother James, 500 others at one time and Paul.
(Mark 3:21; John 8:58, 10:30-33, 14:9-11; Acts 9:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:2-3; James 1:1)

1 Comment


Marcus Johnson - June 22nd, 2022 at 3:03pm

Thank you Lord for your mercy and compassion on me in my life!