Refinement to Righteousness


Isaiah 1:25 – “I will turn my hand upon thee, and surely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy sin.”

In this scripture, God is angry because the leaders of his people were guilty of failing morally. God wants men who will loyally carry out his wishes. Therefore, He now considers Israel and Judah to be his enemies. That is why He will punish them. The phrase “I will turn my hand upon thee” could be meant in a stern or a kind way. In this scripture, the usage of “turning my hand” is of a strict tone. God punishes so that He may save, and smites so that He may heal. God purifies us and removes all our impurities so that we can be ready for salvation. God uses His power to convict us. God punishes and burns with fierce fire all the things that makes us unholy – all the things that do not allow us to give God honor.

God introduces Himself to Judah with titles such as “The Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel” that show His power and majesty. The title means God is the Lord of the armies of Heaven whom it is futile to oppose. The Lord here speaks of the spiritual dryness of Judah. Though they continued their religious ritual and ceremony, they were still spiritually dry. And as dry trees, gardens, and tinder are ready to burn, so is an unrepentant Judah ready to feel the fires of God’s refining judgment. The problem with the leaders and people of Judah was that they had set themselves as enemies of the Lord. They put themselves in the path of judgment and therefore would find the hand of the Lord against them, instead of for them. God then promises to “turn up the heat” and refine Judah, to take away their impurities. His goal is not to destroy; instead He says, “I will restore.” God would purify Jerusalem, to the point it would later be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. God always redeems and restores with justice and righteousness. Terebinth trees were sites of pagan worship which idol-loving Judah kept among them. When Jerusalem is redeemed with justice, they will be ashamed of their former idolatries.

We need to be ashamed and embarrassed over sin. It is wrong when we are shameless or beyond embarrassment when we sin. This happens when we have moved into sin so God has to take a step away from us because God hates sin. If sin abounds in us, we will not be able to hear the Holy Spirit, we will harden our hearts to righteousness and pursue sinful ways. God promised He would give Judah the gift of shame and embarrassment over sin again. Only when we repent and get back to God that He comes back to our hearts after cleansing us of our sins. It is then that we will experience shame and embarrassment when we sin. Look at Jesus today. Remember to spend time in repentance and ask for renewal of anointing. God waits with open arms to hear us come back to Him.