READ : Isaiah 1:21-31
Everyone loves a bribe. (v. 23)
Chances are your church has an Advent wreath with a group of candles in it. (You may even have a wreath like that at home.) If so, yesterday, as Advent began, the first candle was lit for the prophets, who foretold with hope the coming of the Messiah. Perhaps a few verses from Isaiah were read, maybe the beautiful verses from chapter 9 about a child being born to us or the familiar verses from chapter 11 that say “a little child shall lead them” (v. 6). Yes, those are the words of the prophet, but they aren’t his only words. Isaiah had a lot to say.
Just once I’d like to hear some of his other words read. What might happen if the Advent candle was lit and this passage from the first chapter of Isaiah was read? The first verse alone would get some attention. Isaiah is on a rant because God is not happy and the news is not good.
This is why Jesus had to come into the world. “Everyone loves a bribe,” Isaiah says, and the victims of this behavior are the fatherless and widows. God didn’t send Jesus so we’d create a billion cute Christmas pageants for children or a bunch of living nativity scenes. God sent Jesus because the world needed salvation. There is a problem that needs to be addressed and Jesus is the answer to the problem.
Help us open our ears to the words of the prophets.