"When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look! Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims."......
Okay here, the first part of Isaiah 1:15....you said...no...no I have never shed any innocent blood here...so this verse does not apply to me and I can skip that....I think this verse showed that, God cares for those who are the victims....we all have our past hurts and wounds...you might be the victim of child-abused, you might be the victim of some other things...God wants us not to mistreat others, put others into a victim of something that are bad to them. Here....it does sound seriously to me that God really does not want to see His people mistreating others while they in church acting like so spritual and fervent in prayers......but the way they treat others...behind close doors, they are pretty ugly to God. God sees through them and in here we see that God does not want it, He rejects to hear the prayers of those people.
Again...I feel the seriousness of coming to God with a purified heart and mind, we cannot hold anger in us when we approach God for some prayer requests, it said so clearly here, it just won't work for God. If you have not forgiven somebody and you come to God and ask Him for something, He won't answer you either. He clearly taught us that, if we don't forgive others, He will not forgive us either. That's no grey area here that we can earn His prayer answered.....if we don't forgive, He won't forgive us. If we hate others, it shows that we are not in the 'light'. 'light' and 'darkness' have nothing in common.....it's all in the Bible.
We cannot make up excuses for not following what the Bible says....and it is for our benefit that we can learn to be forgiving and loving. And it is for our benefit that we can have a proper relationship with God in our prayer time, we tune in to His good and righteous nature - He is a God who forgives, loves and accepts sinner....so if we say that we are His people, we have to do just that.
Okay, let's go for the second part of this verse....
"Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways, learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the Oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. " Isaiah 1:15-17
The words seem very stern and strong here.....What can we do.....we need to wash ourselves and be clean. Wash ourselves here perhaps means - examining our own self....in 1 Corinthian somewhere it reminds us to examine ourselves in avoiding the judgement from God. Have we done that DAILY...not just weekly...but DAILY......why should it be a daily thing......(I guess it is because we are so sinful in our nature, the Apostle Paul says that we have nothing good in us.... we are under God's grace and God himself says to us, no one has ever wanted to seek Him, no one is righteous at all)
Without doing that daily.....perhaps we would become so stiff-necked, hard-hearted towards the discipline from God or we might become so puff up in our own knowledge about religion, or we won't even realize how much we did wrong in a day, if we do not examine ourselves closely.
If we did that examining of ourselves, God in His mercy and grace will forgive us. He will also strengthen us again to do good to others. So God also asks us to give up our sins and our evil ways....and we need to learn to do good....
And you can read the rest......we need to maintain and uphold justice in society.....we need to speak up when we should....help those who are oppressed....help the needy around us, defend the orphans....speak up for what is right and fight for the widows too. For me, it's like a sum up of helping those who are in need, speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, fight (stand by) those who are weak, and fight for them (stand by them, be with them, support them).
Let us put them into practice, come to God without a face mask, no hiding, no pretending..come to Him boldly, be true to ourselves and to God.
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