“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Is it right for a mere mortal, stained by sin and self-absorption, to reason with God? As long as we understand the biblical meaning of the word “reason” as it is used her in Isaiah’s prophecy, it is not only right, but it is commanded.
Let’s start with an understanding of what “reasoning with our Redeemer” does not mean. First, it does not mean that we come to the throne room of heaven in the posture of a criminal’s defense attorney and plead our case by defending our wrongdoing and making excuses for our actions. Self-justification is as unwelcome as it is unwarranted when we stand before the revealed truth of Scripture, having knowingly violated it at virtually every turn.
Second, reasoning with our redeemer does not mean that we engage in arguing with the Almighty regarding any set of circumstances. You can see both these sinful forms of “reasoning” placed on dreary display by our first parents as they crouched, shivering in fear before the Lord God Almighty, clad in the flimsy fig leaves of their own self-righteousness.
[God] said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13)
“It’s not my fault,” was Adam’s protest. “You put me in bad circumstances! This woman you gave me is the reason I sinned!” How gracious is our God to listen to such blasphemy and not destroy the one who spoke it!
Eve sought to create an alibi for her actions. “It’s not my fault,” was her feeble defense. “The devil made me do it!” This kind of reasoning does not move the heart of God. All we do is compound our sin by even uttering it!
Reasoning with our Redeemer means that we come humbly and yet confidently to the throne of grace, according to His will, acknowledging the truth of His Word and His promise.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
When we are operating from the organizing principle that directed the entire life of Jesus—“Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42)—we can be assured that God will hear and respond to our reasoning. And so the only way we can effectively reason with our Redeemer according to the will of God is to know and understand the will of God, and that knowledge comes primarily through meditating on and marinating in the sacred Scriptures.
Remember, God had His Word written down so that we would read it. He could have left it up to the Holy Spirit to inspire, motivate, and guide us, and that would have been sufficient. But God gave us even more—He gave us His God-breathed Bible.
Because Jesus was in constant communication with His Father in heaven, He was always sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit into the will of His Father. There are many ways to commune with God, but the two primary ways are prayer and the reading of the Word. The more time we spend in these two disciplines, the more we will be aligned with God’s will. And the more we are aligned with God’s will, the better we will be able to rightly reason with our Redeemer and receive grace to help us in our times of need.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!