Bible: Isaiah 1:2-20

Obedience, not Sacrifice

1:2 Listen, O heavens,

pay attention, O earth! 1 

For the Lord speaks:

“I raised children, 2  I brought them up, 3 

but 4  they have rebelled 5  against me!

1:3 An ox recognizes its owner,

a donkey recognizes where its owner puts its food; 6 

but Israel does not recognize me, 7 

my people do not understand.”

1:4 8 

The sinful nation is as good as dead, 9 

the people weighed down by evil deeds.

They are offspring who do wrong,

children 10  who do wicked things.

They have abandoned the Lord,

and rejected the Holy One of Israel. 11 

They are alienated from him. 12 

1:5 13 

Why do you insist on being battered?

Why do you continue to rebel? 14 

Your head has a massive wound, 15 

your whole body is weak. 16 

1:6 From the soles of your feet to your head,

there is no spot that is unharmed. 17 

There are only bruises, cuts,

and open wounds.

They have not been cleansed 18  or bandaged,

nor have they been treated 19  with olive oil. 20 

1:7 Your land is devastated,

your cities burned with fire.

Right before your eyes your crops

are being destroyed by foreign invaders. 21 

They leave behind devastation and destruction. 22 

1:8 Daughter Zion 23  is left isolated,

like a hut in a vineyard,

or a shelter in a cucumber field;

she is a besieged city. 24 

1:9 If the Lord who commands armies 25  had not left us a few survivors,

we would have quickly become like Sodom, 26 

we would have become like Gomorrah.

1:10 Listen to the Lord’s word,

you leaders of Sodom! 27 

Pay attention to our God’s rebuke, 28 

people of Gomorrah!

1:11Of what importance to me are your many sacrifices?” 29 

says the Lord.

“I am stuffed with 30  burnt sacrifices

of rams and the fat from steers.

The blood of bulls, lambs, and goats

I do not want. 31 

1:12 When you enter my presence,

do you actually think I want this

animals trampling on my courtyards? 32 

1:13 Do not bring any more meaningless 33  offerings;

I consider your incense detestable! 34 

You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations,

but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations! 35 

1:14 I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies;

they are a burden

that I am tired of carrying.

1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,

I look the other way; 36 

when you offer your many prayers,

I do not listen,

because your hands are covered with blood. 37 

1:16 38 

Wash! Cleanse yourselves!

Remove your sinful deeds 39 

from my sight.

Stop sinning!

1:17 Learn to do what is right!

Promote justice!

Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! 40 

Take up the cause of the orphan!

Defend the rights of the widow! 41 

1:18 42 

Come, let’s consider your options,” 43  says the Lord.

“Though your sins have stained you like the color red,

you can become 44  white like snow;

though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,

you can become 45  white like wool. 46 

1:19 If you have a willing attitude and obey, 47 

then you will again eat the good crops of the land.

1:20 But if you refuse and rebel,

you will be devoured 48  by the sword.”

Know for certain that the Lord has spoken. 49 

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