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Today we begin the book of the prophet Isaiah! A powerful quote from Bible.org at this link about this book is: "The Book of Isaiah is one of the most important books of the Old Testament. While little is known of the personal life of the prophet, he is considered to be one of the greatest of them all. The book is a collection of oracles, prophecies, and reports; but the common theme is the message of salvation. There was, according to these writings, no hope in anything that was made by people... There would be a purging of the nation because God is holy. Before the nation could inherit the promises made to the fathers, it would have to be made holy."
~ Isaiah ~
Date: Eighth century B.C.
Content: Isaiah’s long ministry lasted almost sixty years and covered the reigns of four kings, the last one being Hezekiah, the reformer. Isaiah was sent primarily to Judah, although his message concerns the northern kingdom of Israel as well. He lived through the awful days of the civil war between Israel and Judah in 734-732 B.C. and saw the destruction of Israel by Assyria in 722 B.C. the grim lesson taught by Israel’s fall was not lost on Isaiah, and he used it to encourage Hezekiah to trust in the Lord. The Lord delivered Judah from the mighty Assyrian army by sending a plague to destroy the camp. Isaiah also looked beyond his own time to the coming exile of Judah and the deliverance that God would provide.
Theme: Isaiah was one of Jesus’ favorite books and he quoted it frequently, because the central them is salvation. God is seen as the Savior of his people, who redeemed them from Egypt, who will redeem them from their coming captivity, and who will send his beloved Servant to bear the sins of us all (Isaiah 53:6). God freely offers to pardon all who will turn to him in repentance and faith. The future kingdom of God on earth is also described in exquisite detail as a time when men will lay down their swords and, in peace, sing praises to God their King. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 11) More great commentary on the book of Isaiah is at this link. Below is a portrait of the prophet Isaiah by artist Guy Rowe:
Today in Isaiah chapter 1 verses 2 and 3 we read these words of the prophet Isaiah: “Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand." These words were spoken to the Israelites in the 8th century B.C., but do you suppose they can apply to our modern world today as well? Do we know God? Do we truly understand God? I do think that sometimes we can forget that God is our Father. We are his children. He has brought us up. And we have rebelled. Is an ox at times smarter than us in terms of knowing who its master is? Do we truly know who our master is? I’m afraid sometimes I live my life as if I am my own master. I am “master of my own destiny!” Well. . . am I really? What about you. Who is your master day in and day out? Do you know your Master? Do you understand?
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of Michael W. Smith's great song "A New Hallelujah!"
Do you want to sing a new Hallelujah? Click here and Sing!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: '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 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that your sins have been made white as snow and wool, through a saving faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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