Isaiah 1:16-18. “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil: Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If you will count the words in blue, you will find that God gives Judah ten specific demands if they desire to be restored to fellowship with Him.
- Wash yourself
- Make yourself clean
- Put away your own evil deeds
- Cease to do evil
- Learn to do well
- Seek judgment
- Relieve the oppressed
- Judge the fatherless
- Plead for the widow
- Come to Me now, and let us reason together
The washing and cleansing are symbolic of a repentant heart. When we are remorseful over sin and truly repent, seeking forgiveness, then we will indeed put away our evil deeds; we will cease to continually do evil and learn to do well. To seek judgment is to seek to have discernment. The heart will be soft to see the needs of the fatherless and the widow.
Best of all, God says, “Come to Me now, I pray you.” He wants our obedience, not to show that He’s the One in charge; He wants it because our obedience shows that we love Him (Matt. 22:37). He is ready and willing to teach us how to forsake our sin and cling to Him.
That invitation still stands. As long as we have life, it is not too late to turn to Him.