Our Argument With God

Isaiah 1.18

God calls us to think, setting before us the unreasonableness of turning our backs on Him. He shows us what we are rejecting – namely, His forgiving love, the rebuilding of our character, the imparting of life to the soul, and everlasting joy and peace.

‘Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

And our subject is ‘Our Argument with God.’ This is a tremendous invitation to think, to consider. Come now. You could render it a little differently because the sense of the original, the Hebrew, gives us just a little more than comes through here. You could render it, “Come on now. Come on now,” like maybe said to a team in some sporting activity, a word of urging and encouragement. Not just the reasoning, “Come now. Wake up,” but more, “Come on,” and that’s what we need, an exhortation to wake up and to think. “Come now and let us reason together,” saith the Lord. Some say the idea is a law court, I’m not so sure it is, but it is a kind of personal debate as God says, “Come and tell me what your problem is. What is your complaint about me? What is your complaint about walking with your God? What are your objections What lies behind your unbelief, your separation from me? Tell me, lay out your case and I will try to help you and answer you.” And God, for his part, will lay out his. “Come, let us reason together. I will tell you why I have made you and why you should turn to me and how much you need me and what I will do for you and how I will provide for you. So let us exchange our reasonings,” that’s the core.

It appears down here in verse 18 as though in our way of doing things this might introduce the various arguments that God will advance, but most of them have already been made from the beginning of the chapter. It’s a chapter of reasoning and then comes this invitation, “Come now or come on now in the light of all that I’ve said.” God says, “Let’s exchange views. Let us reason together.” And so we look back to see examples of what the Lord’s reasoning is from the beginning of the chapter. This is very remarkable. “Come now, let us reason together.”

Just a minute. It is God who is the injured party in this breach between mankind and God, in this situation of unbelief and rejection of him and focusing on the here and now and material things and dismissing him and ignoring him and baking his law. He is the injured party. He is the one who has been wronged. He is the one who has all the complaints against us, and yet as if there’s a cold war between us and God, he is the one who breaks the silence. He is the one who takes the initiative to restore a relationship. He is the one in amazing condescension and kindness who speaks to us, “Come on now, let us reason together.” He beckons and he calls. It’s a tremendous situation. Why should God be so tolerant, so patient, so merciful when we’re so resistant to him? Why should he come out to us or come down to us? And there is in this phrase, “Come now,” a kind of wake-up call.