"And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood" (Isaiah 1:15 KJV).
In reading Isaiah chapter one we see the house of Judah on trial in Yahweh's "court of law." Judah was in a terrible state. The Almighty had likened them to less than oxen (vs. 3), saying they were weighed down with iniquity (vs. 4). From the sole of the foot even to the head of the body, there was nothing uninjured (vs. 6). Considering all than went on in the days of the four kings mentioned in verse one (2 Kings 15-20; 2 Chronicles 26-32) we can see that Judah could be likened to nothing more than a lukewarm individual; one who serves Yahweh when it is convenient for him as a person, rather than serving Yahweh with his whole heart and mind.
In Isaiah 1:11-14 Yahweh expresses to His people that He is tired of their worship. Tired of their worship to Him. One may wonder why the Father would be "fed up" with having worship offered to Him, but once you recognize the form of worship given to Yahweh by the Judahites, the reason is readily seen. Yahweh does not desire for His people to live unrighteously, without Him in view, while away from the temple or tabernacle, and come and expect Him to overlook their lives because of the good sacrifice they bring. He instead asks us to live completely for Him in every sphere of life. Yahweh must be at the center of a person's life in all that they do. What was taking place in Judah and Jerusalem was that the Judahites were guilty of injustice, specifically in the area of the fatherless and the widows (1:17, 23). The people of Judah could not expect Yahweh to accept their sacrifices or special days of worship if they were going to continue to disobey His authority in other area's of their life.
It was for this reason that Yahweh summed up His rebuke of Judah by saying that even their prayers He would not hear. Here we have prayers given by Yahweh's chosen people, to Yahweh Himself, yet Yahweh would not hearken unto their prayers. This reminds me of Proverbs 28:9 where Scripture states that when a person turns away his ear from hearing the law, even His prayer shall be an abomination. The word abomination is extremely strong, and it is hard for me to fathom how a prayer to Yahweh could be described as such, yet it is clearly given this appelation in the Proverb. Yahweh wants prayer coming from a people who have heart-felt repentance. A person who genuinely, from the heart, desires to please the Father in all he does. But when an individuals hands are full or covered with blood (1:15) Yahweh turns away His strong right hand; not because it is to short to save, but because of the treason committed by such a person (Isaiah 59:1-3).
The awesome alternative of verse fifteen is that Yahweh is willing to forgive. Though our sins are as red as scarlet and crimson, He will make us white like snow and wool (1:18). Yahweh will forgive, but we must humble ourselves and seek Him with our entirety. We shouldn't just worship Him at the tabernacle, i.e. our local church. We should worship Him each and every single day.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.