Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 30th October 2022: The First Sunday of the Kingdom Season

Love Kingdom of God Isaiah 1 Prophet Justice

Reading : Verses from Isaiah, Chapter 1


Hear the word of the Lord.....

Trample my courts no more;
bringing offerings is futile;
incense is an abomination to me.....
When you stretch out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen....

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
seek justice,
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.

Come now, let us argue it out,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version


Today we begin the Kingdom Season. Our reading goes back to eight centuries before the birth of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah opens his work with a detailed analysis of the current situation, and it's almost as though he is in a court room. The twelve tribes of Israel have separated with the northern ten keeping the title of 'Israel', and the two southern tribes with their capital in Jerusalem that of 'Judah'. As if this wasn't bad enough they are constantly under threat from their surrounding neighbours. Indeed the northern tribes of Israel were to be conquered by Assyria in 722 BCE.

Isaiah's concern, though, is for Judah and its capital, Jerusalem. He points out forcibly that its leaders are corrupt, and despite the people's faithfulness in offering sacrifices to God, and their constant prayers, God has not listened to them. Why has God not listened? Isaiah's answer is that God does not want such observance when they are morally bankrupt. God wants them to 'cease to do evil, to learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, and plead for the widow'. If this happens then their clothes will not be red from their sin, but white!

Isaiah speaks centuries ago but he might just as well be speaking of today's world when we compare it to the Kingdom that God offers. In the next four weeks of this season, can we make one change each week to our life - towards helping to bring in God's Kingdom of love?


Lord God,
help us to realise
that Your Kingdom is one of love,
and that we will be judged
by the way we treat others.
Help us to realise that the ills
of our society,
rely on us to be put right,
not just on our leaders.

Follow Up Thoughts

For those who want to find out more about the deportation of the Israelites in 722 BCE by the Assyrians (note this is not about the Kingdom of Judah with its city of Jerusalem), look up this site:

Or look at the background to Isaiah:

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