“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 “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. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land . . . (Isa 1:16-19)
A willing, submissive heart receives blessings from the Lord. There are only two requirements, according to this passage:
- Willingness – readiness, acceptance, cooperation, and
- Obedience – respect, submission, agreement.
Once we have settled these two issues within ourselves, it only remains that we act in accordance with God’s will and plan for us. We do this because we are committed to trusting God to determine what is best for each one of us, and because we love Him.
Not only does God know what the “good of the land” is; but He knows the precise desires of your heart! Lo and behold! He has also promised to give them to you! (Ps 21:2; 34:4)
The good of the land refers to all of the material blessings that the land can produce. God promises to pour out these wonderful and precious blessings upon His children when He sees our willingness and obedience.
Decide now to give the Lord your heartfelt willingness and obedience, brothers and sisters!
But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. (Mt 11:8)
When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? (Lk 7:24)
Jesus talked about a “reed shaken by the wind” because in Bible days, reeds grew similar to sugar cane. The reeds bowed nearly to the ground during the hot daytime. At night, thanks to the cool breeze of the Mediterranean, the reeds would stand up again. This singularity was a crowd-gathering event. Groups of people came out to see the reeds rise in the cool breezes of the night. Then they would return home, unchanged by what they had witnessed.
Jesus was telling the people that they did not follow John’s teachings, but that all they wanted was to see a spectacle (similar to the reeds). They were not willing to repent and to be baptized.
They were also coming out to listen to Jesus in the same way—without a willingness or interest in changing their lives. Jesus was showing them how empty and frivolous they were. They simply moved through the events of their lives without ever connecting with God or His power.
We must determine that in the course of our everyday lives, we must “see Jesus” and His power come alive in our own lives and in our own experiences. How do we do that? We study the Word of God and we allow it—INVITE IT—to cleanse us, transform us, and empower us to act.
We are Christ’s disciples and we are meant to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We are called to support the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to work in our own neighborhoods to be an influence for good and a witness of Jesus Christ. God bless you.