This week we’ve covered both harsh and comforting passages in Isaiah. The harsh ones are all about God judging His beloved people (Israel) by using nations like Assyria to conquer and plunder and commit atrocities. They’re about God punishing rebellion and pride. They’re about His righteousness and justice leaving no room for sin of any size. And they’re not very comforting to read, but they do contain some comforting truths about God that we can rest in. For instance, He is faithful to do what He’s promised, whether it be punishment or reward. And, He loves His chosen people (both OT Israel and modern-day Christians) enough to chasten them when they need it, and He never gives up on them. Although He offered salvation to the Gentile world, He is not finished with Israel – and He will certainly not give up on you or me! And, He controls everything – even wicked war-driven nations like Assyria. I’m sure you can think of similar modern-day examples too. He uses them for His purposes. But then we’ve had some more obviously-comforting passages. Verses like these:
25:1-4 – O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure… For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
25:8 – He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
26:3-4 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
28:5-6 – In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people, and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
28:29 – This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.
And of course, those are just a smattering of the wonderful comforting truths about our God that are mentioned in the Bible. I love meditating on these verses… love waking up to them and thinking about them throughout the day, love going to sleep with those truths in my mind.
And isn’t it great when we find something from book repeated in another? Like when Mark 7 quotes Isaiah 29, which contrasts the ritualistic hypocrisy and outward conformity of “religious” people with the true closeness to God that comes from inward purity and personal knowledge of God Himself. I love how the whole Bible ties itself together like that, how unified it is. Isn’t it amazing, a thing only possible by God alone?
So how about you? What are you learning in your daily Bible reading and time with God? What verses or passages stuck out to you this week? What truths did God remind you of and encourage you with? Please share!
For those of you following the Blended plan, here’s next week’s schedule:
Sunday: Isaiah 37-38, Mark 9
Monday: Isaiah 39-40, Mark 10
Tuesday: Isaiah 41-42
Wednesday: Isaiah 43-44
Thursday: Isaiah 45-46, Mark 11
Friday: Isaiah 47-49
Saturday: Isaiah 50-52, Mark 12
*Photo credits: www.sxc.hu