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Though Your Sins Are Like Scarlet, They Shall Be as White as Snow

27 February • Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent


Isaiah 1:10, 16-20

10 Hear the word of the LORD,

you rulers of Sodom!

Give ear to the teaching of our God,

you people of Gomorrah!


16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;

remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;

cease to do evil,

learn to do good;

seek justice,

correct oppression;

bring justice to the fatherless,

plead the widow's cause.

18 “Come now, 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 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 eaten by the sword;

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Meditation

 

The city of Sodom was a byword for evil, even being the root word of the word sodomy. With Gomorrah, these were twin cities of evil in scripture. It is ironic that the sins of those cities are today tolerated and even celebrated in some circles.


Yet the prophet’s call to the wicked of the cities is clear. Turn from evil. Do good.


The prophet takes aim at two distinct areas where evil strikes: Self and Society.


Self

We are to “wash” and clean ourselves in two aspects: remove the evil of our deeds and cease to do evil. Evil in our deeds is the attitude which propels us to sin. Then there is the action of sin itself. We first need to rid ourselves of the evil in our deeds. Only then can we cease to do evil. The native American caricature of one’s conscience is one where a good wolf wars with an evil wolf within oneself. The wolf which is fed more will win. Therefore, we must feed our hearts and minds with good things (Philippians 4:8). Then the evil wolf, left unfed, has scant power over us.


Society

We are also called to do good in Society. Many of us do not know what it is like to be downtrodden and disadvantaged. We have no idea what if feels like not knowing where our next meal is coming from. We need to not only pray for those in need, but take concrete action to help them. (James 2:14-17; Matthew 25:31-46)


Summary

We ask and thank God to help us to cease doing evil and learn to do good. For then we are no longer covered with the scarlet guilt blood of sin, but enveloped with the snow white cloak of righteousness. No longer awash with the crimson of evil, but fully wrapped with wooly white coat of good.


Prayer

 

Dear Father in Heaven, may Your name be praised forevermore. We are eternally grateful for washing our scarlet sins with the blood of Your own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to demonstrate our gratefulness in turning away from evil and sin, and turning towards helping others. Help us to be true citizens of the Kingdom and children of the Father by caring deeply for others, particularly the downtrodden and disadvantaged. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Action

 
  1. Make a list of good things to feed your mind with. Stop feeding your mind with things which go against God’s teachings.

  2. Together with your small/cell group, find a place of regular service to volunteer your time to help the downtrodden and the disadvantaged.


Rev David Gwee

Pastor-in-Charge

Covenant Community Methodist Church

Chaplain-in-Charge

Methodist Girl’s School

Chairman, Disciple Agency of Singapore

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