Learning to Do Well

Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.  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 1:17-18

I really hadn’t planned on writing anything about verse 18, but it is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, so I thought I would put it in there just so I could read it one more time.  “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…”  That’s worth stopping to meditate on! 

What I do want to write about is the beginning of verse 17.  In this passage, the Lord is telling Israel that He has had enough of their sacrifices and is tired of their pointless religious exercises.  What He wants it obedience.  He wants them to do right.  And included in the list of things that He wants them to do is “Learn to do well.”  According to many modern philosophers, we are born naturally “good.”  If that is true, we should already know how to do well.  Doing right should come naturally to us. 

However, God does not agree.  The Bible says that we must “learn to do well.”  Doing right is something that we have to learn.  It is not natural for us to want to do right.  It is natural for us to do wrong.  We are all sinners.  Romans tells us that “all have sinned,” and that there are “none righteous.”  The Bible also tells us that we “go astray as soon as we be born.” (Psalm 58:3) 

How can we learn to do well?  We can pay attention to the only One who can help us “do well.”  We can take the example of the only One who has ever actually come to earth and “done well.”  Jesus is our example and He is our help.  Let us go to Him daily as we strive to “learn to do well.”

6 responses to this post.

  1. Ben, Modern philosophers may think we are born naturally good, but any parent with a toddler ought to know better. Right after mama and dada, the first words out of most toddlers’ mouths is “NO!” They are told what is the right thing to do, and they naturally rebel. They must be taught what is right. I am so glad that we have the Holy Spirit to help us learn to do well. Peace, Linda


    • I don’t have kids, but I am a teacher. I think I can safely say that, even in high school, the natural tendency isn’t to do right. I can also say that I am in my early 30s and still don’t seem to have a natural tendency to do what’s right. I’m also very thankful for the Holy Spirit, Who is able to help me and give me victory over the flesh!


  2. I was thinking the same things as Linda, about raising children! ha! It’s not natural for them to share and be nice when they don’t want to be, have manners, etc. etc. They have to be taught and so do we, and shown by example. We’ve got the best example ever to learn from . . .Jesus! Thanks Ben!


    • Again, I see high school kids (and sometimes myself) not want to share, be kind, have manners, etc. etc. 🙂 We do have a great example, and that’s what life is really about- becoming more and more like Him!


  3. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” (Prov. 22:15 ESV)

    I had to laugh when reading the comments here because I am in TOTAL agreement with Linda and Deb 🙂 I am the father of three little ones and I probably spend more time breaking up fights and “refereeing” between them than anything else! I would love to invite any of the philosophers and psychologists who believe in the “inherent goodness” of man into my house for a week and see what they have to say afterward!


    • That’s funny! I can remember when my sister and I fought like cats and dogs. I imagine three would be even better/worse- depending on you perspective. 🙂 Isn’t it interesting how common sense and experience always prove the Bible right, but “intellectualism” runs the opposite direction?


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