Scarlet Sins—White as Snow

The photo above is from my yard a few winters ago. I don’t particularly like snow, it’s cold and I don’t take pleasure in cold weather. Because I live in the Midwest I see and experience it almost every winter. Visually, I enjoy freshly fallen snow, the picturesque kind, when it looks like a white blanket just covered the landscape and it sparkles as the sun hits it. At those moments it looks like greeting card art—it’s beautiful. Why do I enjoy that?

Fresh White Snow
The snowfall I just described always brings to mind the Isaiah 1:18 passage. There is deep down peace knowing my sins are cleansed away by Christ Jesus. The fresh white snow then fills me with gratitude for His grace.

Context Matters
If you read Isiah 1:18 in context, which I recommend you always do with a single verse, you will learn that this promise is sandwiched in the midst of a harsh rebuke to a rebellious nation. The rebuke of God, spoken through Isaiah, was because the people turned to idols rather than God, they lacked social justice, and had failed to keep the covenant.

In preparation, I read Isaiah chapter one multiple times in a few different versions. It feels dark, discouraging, and heavy. A lot the way I hear people expressing themselves in regards to the year 2020. The generalities I read could describe many nations today.

The Promise
I was taught as a youth, to contextually zoom out (look at verses before and after) whenever you see a promise of God. By zooming-out you will find the promise and the expectation or terms for the fulfillment. Let’s take a closer look at this specific promise—in context.

“Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from my sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. ‘Come, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are scarlet they will be as white as snow; though they are crimson red, they will be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 1:16-20, CSB).

Do you see the expectations—humanity’s part? Do you see the terms and consequences surrounding the beautiful, hopeful promise? There is hope, in the middle of heaviness and gloom. Have you lost sight of HOPE in 2020? For those who are Christians, Jesus is our Living Hope.

Purification
Wash yourselves and cleanse yourselves describes purification. Can we wash ourselves of sin? No, only God can. Then how do we wash ourselves? It is by accepting the gift of mercy from Jesus. Jesus took the wrath of God upon himself as He hung on the cross in our place. I/we deserved that punishment because of my/our sins. “We were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:3-5, NIV).

How do I accept the gift of mercy? The Apostle Paul and Silas answered that question when a frightened jailer asked, “‘What must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household’” (Acts 16:30-31, CSB). Believe that Jesus is who He said he was, the Son of God and that He died on a cross, was buried, and raised again to life, then you too can be saved.

Prayer
Father God, You are so gracious and good to have allowed Jesus to take the wrath I deserved. Thank You for cleansing me of sin. Thank You for the visual reminder of Your mercy, when I see fresh white snow.

Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit who empowers and enables me to live a life pleasing to You. In His strength, I can follow Your decrees and enjoy the fulfillment of Your promise. What a joyous way to live. Hallelujah and Amen!


About Manette

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About section if you want to read more of my story.


Copyright © 2020 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.

Published by musingsofmanettekay

Sharing bits of memoir in the format of devotionals, prayers and short stories.

20 thoughts on “Scarlet Sins—White as Snow

  1. Great reminders, Manette! Thank you for your thoughts on these verses. I hadn’t remembered that the verse about being “white as snow” was in the middle of a rebuke. I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit helps us accept God’s mercy and live for him. Happy New Year! ~Robyn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isaiah 1:18 is one of my favorite verses probably because winter where I live means snow. I love the picture it evokes in my mind. I really like the beginning, “Come let us reason together, says the LORD;” (ESV) It is reasonable to settle things with God. He is just. He is faithful. He is merciful. He is love. “Come, let’s settle this, says the LORD” It is for your best to do so.

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  3. Oh how important it is to read scripture in context! I’m sure I’ve read what comes before Isaiah 1:18, but never realized that God’s offer for forgiveness comes right after such a strong rebuke. Isn’t that God, though? “Child, you messed up BIG TIME! However, I’m going to wipe the slate clean and let you start over.”
    Thank you for your diligence in searching for the WHOLE truth of God, Manette! Bumper Sticker verses seem to be so much in vogue these days.
    God’s best to you in the new year!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lovely photo. It’s as white as white can be. At the time of the prophet’s writing, no one knew that their sins would appear as scarlet dropping off a cross. His affliction was our sins upon His holiness, His purity, like new snow. I have always loved that picture. The great exchange. His grip – Alan

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  5. Thank your for this, Manette. It’s early morning and I am sitting at my desk in the basement. I am looking out through an egress window. Snow has fallen on the stairs leading up and settled on two red lanterns. I can’t think of a starker contrast than blood red in the white of snow. Thank you for this reminder of God’s unfathomable love for us. I pray you continue to bless many with His Word in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Snow scenes (like the one you included with your post) bring a sense of peace. The atmosphere is quieted as the snow absorbs sound. And isn’t that what God’s forgiveness brings to our hearts? By the blood of Jesus we are cleansed of filthy sin, made white as snow, and surrounded by the calming presence of our Heavenly Father. Hallelujah!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anna. Praise must go to God, He gives the content through His spirit and presence. I trust God to get the message – the prayer to whomever needs it on a particular day and time. I do appreciate your encouragement. Peace and blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautifully-shaped and expressed blog, Manette. I really appreciate the way you bring your thoughts together, grounding them in your Bible reading, and in your prayers. If I were well, I’d press the follow button instantly, but my energy is very limited, and I quickly become overwhelmed, even by messages waiting in my in-box. So, please forgive me for not following right now – I can still visit your website from time to time to see how you are getting on, and we can be in contact via the comment box on any of my blogs. With very best wishes, from Ruth (on the Isle of Man). XXXXX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ruth, I am with you on limiting the number of blogs I follow. It is understandable and correct to set some boundaries for ourselves when needed. I have several that I read when I can. Feel free to email via my contact page if that is better.

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