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. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; – Isaiah 1:18-19 ESV
Isaiah is having a vision of coming judgment. We live in the TIME; the dispensation of MERCY. God has qualities that are unique to HIM. He has the qualities of NOTHING else, NOBODY else. In his book, “Knowledge of the Holy”, A.W. Tozer identifies 18 attributes of God and posits that God cannot cease to be any of these, or He would cease to be God! One of those Godly attributes is LONG-SUFFERING! The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Let’s look at a couple examples that show His mercy, grace and long-suffering.
Leader, of all the Kings of Judah, Manasseh reigned the longest: 55 years starting at age 12. He was an evil king who ended up repenting of his sin later on in life. He is considered the PRODIGAL KING. As wicked as his beginnings were, he came back to God later in life. Also Consider Methuselah. He is recorded as living the longest life of anybody in the history of the world- 969 years. Methuselah literally means “At his death (something) was sent”. When he died the flood came and wiped the earth clean, sans 8! Methuselah can also be translated, ‘man of the spear’ and since ‘Cain’ means ‘possessor of the spear’ Methuselah is parallel type to Cain as the one who brought death into the world. Again, GOD not wanting any to perish- He picked the oldest person to live- to die, before closing the door on the ark. “The Lord shut him in.” (Genesis 7:16) God knows we’re in a mess without Him!
Conduit, the world and the Church are a mess!! Jesus told us there is only ONE WAY out of this mess! J. Vernon McGee explains it this way: Philosophy says think your way out. Indulgence says, drink your way out. Politics says, spend your way out. Science says, invent your way out. Industry says work your way out. Labor says strike your way out. Fascism says bluff your way out. Militarism says fight your way out. HOWEVER, it is WRITTEN, in the Bible to- PAY your way out and Jesus says, HE IS THE WAY OUT! (John 14:6) In John 10:9 Jesus again tells us HE IS THE WAY OUT! I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. In closing, in the Book of Revelation, 3:20, Jesus again makes the statement, HE IS THE WAY- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” Open the door and SEEK HIS WAY out! Amen!