Isaiah 1:18-20 “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 as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
“Come now, let us reason together …” Many people see the God of the Bible as being UNreasonable. “How could a God of love purposely destroy whole cities?”, they ask – and yet just before this (verse 10) he even disparagingly addresses his OWN Covenant People as ‘Sodom’ and ‘Gomorrah’. What these critics choose to ignore is that such acts of divine Judgment are just part of a much BIGGER and BRIGHTER picture.
We struggle with his judgment for two reasons: firstly we don’t understand how abhorrent our sinful hearts are to a HOLY God; and secondly we fail to appreciate the greatness of his amazing grace in the substitutionary death of Christ. God is not only ‘reasonable’, he is even MORE than reasonable, in the light of these two truths taken together.
Any view of God we might devise for ourselves that denies the ‘crimsonness’ of our sin or the ‘whiteness’ of his saving grace does not do justice to God’s true character. Moreover, if we refuse to acknowledge the gravity of our sin in the face of the holiness of the Creator to whom we are accountable, and therefore to truly understand the necessity and intensity of his WRATH against us, then we fail to appreciate fully what Jesus went through as he felt the impact of this wrath as he hung on the Cross for us, and cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)! ‘Till on that cross as Jesus died, the WRATH of God was SATISFIED’ (Stuart Townend).