Okay, before we start this week, did anyone else hear Handel's Messiah playing in their heads as we read through Isaiah 40? Years ago, I went and saw Handel's Young Messiah performed and this song (along with others) stuck in my head. So, as I read this week, I kept thinking, "I know this." Cool stuff.
Most of you know that I am doing the Kelly Minter No other gods study with a huge group of people. One of the things that we learned early on in the study was that while satan may tell us things that are "true" they are not the "truth". An example would be something like, "Josh fussed at me because I forgot to shuck the corn." While this is true, satan tries to convince me that I am a horrible wife because I don't take care of my family by shucking corn. This is not Truth. Anyway, I continue to look for examples of this to keep me on my toes and wise to the lies of satan. Isaiah 36:14 says, "Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you." While this is true, it is not truth. Hezekiah cannot save his people, however, he knows the One who can. He cries out to God and God hears and delivers.
Did you notice 2 Kings description of Hezekiah? Chapter 18, verse 6 says, " He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow Him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses." What a wonderful tribute and one that I certainly would like to apply to my life. Do I hold fast? In good times as well as bad? (Isn't it so much easier to cling like a child when the times are bad?)
I guess at this time in my life, I am fascinated with scripture that talks about clinging to God, trusting in Him, yearning for Him and so on. Isaiah 25:8-9 says, "The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him and He saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation." Isaiah 26:9 goes on to say, "My soul yearns for You in the night, in the morning my spirit longs for You." Again, something that I would like to apply to my life. I love God, but do I yearn for Him, long for Him above all other things?
I also love the comfort that God offers in these passages. In Isaiah 41:9-11, He says, "I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are My servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Or in Isaiah 43:1b-2. "I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. (Doesn't that just give you chills? He summoned me and I am His!) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." How about this one? "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." (Isaiah 46:4) Since I am feeling my age more and more lately, I really liked the comfort of this verse!
We also covered several verses referring to the coming Messiah. The one that I struggle with time and again is Isaiah 53:2, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him." While I understand the point that Isaiah is making (It wasn't charisma or good looks that drew people to Jesus, it was God), I still think my Jesus would be beautiful to me! :) One thing that I saw this time that I had not seen before (or at least didn't pay any attention to) was in Isaiah 53:5b, "the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him." I guess I hadn't thought of His crucifixion as bringing us peace before. That kind of stops me in my tracks. What a heavy price to pay for my peace. Isaiah also refers to the LORD "making His life a guilt offering" (53:10). So that I might have peace. That's something that I am going to be thanking my Savior for over and over this coming week.
To be perfectly honest, there are so many other things that I could list here. Isaiah is so much richer than I would have ever believed. (Yay for chronological reading!) There are several more passages that spoke to me this week but I don't want to make this so long that no one will finish it. So I will end with these two scriptures.
“Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life." Isaiah 55:3a
"It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." Isaiah 55:11
May you hear His Word, seek Him and find life this week and may you always be aware that His Word accomplishes what He desires. Blessings to you!