Reason—not Negotiation | The Institute for Creation Research
Reason—not Negotiation

“Come now, and 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).

Perhaps the term “reason together” conjures up images of two parties seated at the bargaining table ready to discuss issues and negotiate a compromise. Nothing could be further from the truth. The words “reason together” have been translated from one Hebrew word that means to be right, or to correct, to justify, or convict. It is not two parties bringing their own private view to the table. It is that there is only one correct and just perception of the matter. And the inviter (God Himself) says, “let us see this correctly together.”

This matter of reason together is illustrated in the word “rebuke.” When God appeared to Laban, Jacob’s father-in-law, in a dream (Genesis 31:24), God “rebuked” Laban because he pursued Jacob with evil in his heart. The truth of the matter was Jacob had endured grievous things at the hand of Laban (Genesis 31:38–41), and as Jacob said, “God hath seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight” (Genesis 31:42).

A look at David’s use of rebuke in Psalm 6 brings one back to the subject at hand in Isaiah 1. David prays, “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure” (Psalm 6:1). David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, does not address a Father who is pernicious in His anger! The Lord is “angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). The wicked are chained in their unbelief. David’s prayers are laced with cries for mercy (Psalm 4:1; 5:7; 9:13; etc.). David understood that apart from belief in God’s merciful sacrifice, we must all wear our own sin like a bloody garment (Isaiah 64:6). But God offers to give us truth; He offers to set that truth before us. The truth on the table is our Savior on the cross. CJH

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