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Summary: The sin is the attempt to turn worship away from the practice of giving honor to God to the practice of manipulating God for personal gain.

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Isaiah 1:27-31 Oaks of Shame

7/16/00e D. Marion Clark

Introduction

When I was breaking chapter one into sermon segments, I was hesitant about where to place verses 27 and 28. If you are reading the NIV, you will see how the translators have them set alone. I could have preached only those verses, but you are probably already wondering how long it will take to get through Isaiah. If we continue at the pace we are, it would take a little more than seven years. The content of the verses, especially verse 27, complement the previous passage well, and the only reason I did not include them then was the obvious literary structure that I had pointed out last week.

Redemption and Rejection 27,28

In verse 26 God had said,

Afterward you will be called

the City of Righteousness,

the Faithful City.”

He was going to make Jerusalem a just city. He was going to make her inhabitants righteous. Verse 27 explains how.

27 Zion will be redeemed with justice,

her penitent ones with righteousness.

God will redeem Zion. He will pay the ransom necessary to deliver her from her harlotry, and he will do it with justice. I had concluded last Sunday’s sermon with these thoughts:

Our God is just. What he is against is always what is unjust; it’s not a matter of his personal pet peeves. And he always act with justice, even in salvation – especially in salvation. With a God who is just, how could any of us be justified? Who is without sin? Who without failure has always promoted justice? But our comfort is that through justice God was and is able to show mercy to those who are most helpless, even ourselves.

I then quoted Romans 3:21-26 to explain how God redeems with justice and mercy.

21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26).

We could regard this passage as the apostle Paul’s commentary on verse 27. God’s people must somehow become righteous. God produces the righteousness necessary through Jesus: 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The people are to be redeemed. He redeems them through Jesus’ sacrifice: 24…and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.


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