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Mask Off

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Scripture Reading

Hebrews 10:24–26 NRSV
24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
heb

Background

The Bible Guide Discovering Isaiah

Isaiah’s prophecies are delivered to Israel at three distinct stages of her history: before, during and after the exile in Babylon.

Prophecies to Judah before the exile

Prophecies to Judah and Jerusalem

(1:1–12:6)

JUDAH’S WORSHIP IS FALSE

Isaiah challenges the credibility gap between the worship people offer and the lives they actually live. God is sick of burnt offerings. They are just a front behind which people commit crime and oppress the poor. And yet God longs that his people should relate to him again:

Isaiah 1:11–20 NRSV
11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; 13 bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation— I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. 14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

You Can’t Have One Without The Other

Isaiah 1:11 NRSV
11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.
This is very telling of God’s requirements. He needs nothing. And there are several, whether good or bad, right or wrong, who offer up worship to Him. He’s speaking in language of being fed up.
Isaiah 1:12–13 NRSV
12 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; 13 bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation— I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
isa 1 12-
Isaiah 1:12 NRSV
12 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more;
But didn’t God require sacrifice of them?
Does he not now require it of us?
God states that he CANNOT do something. What is that?
Inequity- evil (behavior) n. — morally objectionable behavior.
modes of conduct that are distasteful in the eyes of God.
God says I cannot put up with your pretty worship and your ugly living.
Isaiah 1:14 NRSV
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.
God says “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The Response of God to Masks

Isaiah 1:15 NRSV
15 When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

God Wants Your Mask To Be The REAL You

Isaiah 1:16 NRSV
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
Is God asking for perfection? Does he realize that is not possible? I believe he is referring to the willful persistence of evil.
Hebrews 10:26 NRSV
26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:25–26 NRSV
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Without sacrifice we can disqualify ourselves from the grace and mercy of God.
Isaiah 1:17 NRSV
17 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
LEARN, SEEK, RESCUE, DEFEND, & PLEAD. God doesn’t want us to stay the same, he asks us to ACT!
Isaiah 1:18–19 NRSV
18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
Isaiah 1:18 NRSV
18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
isa
God wants to reason with us!
He knows we cuss
He knows we drink
He knows we lie
He knows we hate
he knows we are SCARLET RED!
BUT HE ALSO KNOWS THAT WE CAN BE WHITE AS SNOW!
GOD wants to give you what he promises but you have to be OBEDIENT!
Isaiah 1:20 NRSV
20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
God knows that not everyone will listen.
God doesn’t have a sword
He will allow created things to overcome the disobedient creation if it refuses to obey.
God has spoken!
TAKE OFF THOSE MASKS!
evil (behavior) n. — morally objectionable behavior.
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