James H. Hiser

"Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." -Isaiah 1:18.

"Reason: 1. to use the faculty of reason; 2. to persuade or influence by the use of logic, common sense." -Webster.

The definition and meaning of reason carries with it the concept of saneness. It is interesting that God Almighty, the Creator, the King of Glory, would be ready and willing to "reason" with His people, His subjects. The argument He makes through the prophet in Isaiah chapter 1 is, in reality, a scathing rebuke of the behavior of His people. He contrasts them with brute beasts that, at least, knew where their sustenance came from. He paints a disgusting word picture of the spiritual health of His people: "... wounds, bruises and putrefying sores." Then, His call to reason (verse 18) transcends all reason and shows utter mercy, cleansing, purifying, and forgiveness.

Man's thinking is "Look at me in my offerings, my charitable works, or in my righteous intentions;" but God looks at the whole picture - in failures and short-comings - as well as triumphs and successes. When we look at the whole picture of ourselves, our short-comings far outweigh the high points of our lives.

Reason tells us that God's magnanimous offer of cleansing, healing, and forgiveness is nothing short of mercy! In Romans 12:1, the term "reasonable service" is used. Other translations use the phrase "spiritual service." I like and use both terms. To present our bodies as a living sacrifice is only reasonable in the light of God's merciful salvation.

In Acts 24:25, the apostle Paul "... reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come." One gets the impression that he made logical arguments to the king regarding these three subjects. Whether it be to royalty or peasant, reason demands that we so order our lives regarding righteousness and temperance in the light of the judgment to come, to assure ourselves of an eternal home in the presence of God.

In response to God's invitation to "reason" with him, our only recourse is to accept God's gracious invitation to purify ourselves by hearing the gospel (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:15) believing in the Son-ship of Christ (Acts 8:37), repenting of our sins (Romans 10:9), confessing Christ as God's Son (Romans 10:10; Matthew 10:32, 33), and being baptized for the remission of our sins (Romans 6:3-5; Acts 2:38).

Can one reasonably say that God expects too much of us when we are urged to obey the gospel? Is it too much to expect us to so order our lives in a way that it will put us in a covenant relationship with Him? Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, endured the horrors of death by crucifixion. Philippians 2:5-8. Indeed, it is only reasonable that we obey Him. -5636 Cherrywood Dr., Lorain, OH. 44053.


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