Turn right and go straight

Occasionally, my wife and I disagree. Don’t all marriages have these problems? Usually, these difficulties center around something trivial. Only rarely are they serious matters.

An examination of the Old Testament scriptures shows how much patience God displayed toward Israel. Even after the nation divided, God showed enormous restraint. But by the time of Isaiah’s book, his patience was growing very, very thin.

In Isaiah 1:10-20, the Lord God began identifying his people as Sodom and Gomorrah. The two unholy cities had been destroyed ages ago and chronicled in the book of Genesis, but his people reminded God of them and their rank disobedience.

What probably made things worse was the practice of worshipping idols and God almost at the same time. Idolatry was rank in the northern ten tribes, but it was also a problem in Judah, the southern kingdom. Judah was attempting to have both God and idols.

God’s anger is plain in that first chapter of Isaiah. He accused his people of trampling his courts, offering meaningless sacrifices, attending worthless assemblies and burning detestable incense. He told them in no uncertain terms he was hiding his eyes, closing his ears to their prayers because their hands were bloody (Isaiah 1:15).

The solution was simple: turn right and go straight! They needed to wash the filth of sin away. “Wash and make yourselves clean!” God exclaimed. The righteous God cannot abide sin, and its presence is utterly foreign to him. How can mankind live within the scope of its influence and yet ask him for help?

God told his people, “Let’s settle the matter!” God wanted to forgive his people, but they had to start doing what was right. They needed to seek justice, or right doing.

Maybe it’s time for you to think about putting away your sinful practices. God only wants you to do the same thing he wanted for Israel. Turn right and go straight! Learn to do what is right and just. Obey God and put sin away forever.