When Our Sins Are Like Scarlet
A devotional by Wendy Wilson Spooner
“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 1:18b (NIV)
Have you ever felt hopeless or in the depths of despair because of your weaknesses?
Part of our life on Earth experience is to overcome sin. We all sin, and sometimes it’s rough to return to a place where we feel able to keep moving forward on any level.
Scarlet and crimson are red colors derived from certain dyes. In general, dyes were highly important in ancient scripture for sacred ceremonial reasons involving purification rituals or burial clothing (Leviticus 14:6-7).
One of the most important aspects of dyes is that they are permanent, or colorfast. They adhere to cloth and won’t wash away or fade. Crimson and scarlet are especially vibrant and stand out with a psychological effect on individuals that can be resonant with blood, which is sometimes a mark of guilt. Like crimson and red, our sins can be obvious and grievous at times.
In Israel, snow is a rarity but not unheard-of, and wool was the everyday textile in ancient Israel. To bring out a brighter and purer white before dying, wool was often washed and soaked in the strongest soap available.
The color white represents purity and is referred to in Isaiah 1:18 when he says the Lord can change our sins from crimson or scarlet to wool or snow. Isaiah is helping us understand that the Lord can do something impossible for us to do for ourselves, just as fabric that is dyed red, remains red. Regardless of our sins, the Atonement of Jesus Christ can make us pure again. We are all within the reach of His pardoning mercy—the grace of our loving God.
I have learned for myself that our Savior is eager and able to forgive us of our sins. There is no sin that can’t be forgiven. What an awe-inspiring privilege and opportunity for each one of us to turn away from our sins and to come unto Christ with Divine forgiveness waiting for us as one of the sweetest rewards from God.
Guilt and pain can be replaced in our hearts with joy and peace.
I can’t think of a better promise anywhere on earth than that one.
Let’s Pray: Dear Father in Heaven, when we sin, let us remember to turn to You for forgiveness of our sins. Let us do it quickly, so we might return to joy and peace in Your love without remaining in despair for any longer than necessary. And help us to turn away from our sins and make a choice every moment of our life to follow You and do what You want us to do. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Song of Reflection: “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” by Selah. Listen to it here.
Wendy is a Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between.
Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she unearths because she’s found that truth is indeed much more exciting and inspiring than fiction.
Wendy writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming obstacles in life by coming to know who we really are—the children of God, and the descendants of incredible people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. Wendy believes in learning from our ancestors, honoring them, and then standing on their shoulders to become a better generation.
As an award-winning family history writer, Wendy’s debut novel, Once Upon an Irish Summer, released April 3, 2020. This book is a dual timeline historical fiction novel about a young, gifted artist suffering from debilitating grief, who finds healing and inspiration in her Irish ancestry, and goes on to paint a masterpiece.
The sequel, Celtic Winter: Eliza’s Story, released November 5, 2021. The storyline goes back in time to the little sister left behind in Ireland to keep her family alive, woven with present-day Beth’s continuing story as she races the clock with the young man she loves to find the only person who could save his mother’s life.
When Wendy is not researching or writing, she hikes, paints, loves being a church youth leader, binges on epic Bollywood movies, and hangs out with her greatest loves—her family.
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