I need to change

Rising Joy, by Vick Matheny

Justice will settle down in the desert and fairness will live in the orchard. Isaiah 32.16

In the verses prior to this one, the outlook is dim. In verse 13, the prophet calls for mourning over the land and the once-happy houses in the city. In verse 15, there is a time frame given for this desolation. It will continue until new life is poured down from heaven. At that time, everything will change. Justice and fairness will bring about peace and security. God is the one who is just. He is the only one who can give us true peace in adversity. When we put our faith and our trust in him, obeying him, and putting his kingdom first, he has promised that we will have what we need in terms of the basics. He has promised clothes and food will be provided, Matthew 6.25-34. The problem comes when we do not put him first. We try to do it all ourselves. Our strength is small. God is the one that gives us strength. He is the source of all that is good. Do I acknowledge this in my own life? Do others see that I live by faith in God? Or do they even know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ? If not, I need to change. I need to let my life reflect God’s glory. I need to let it reflect the peace and security that only he gives so that others are drawn to his saving grace.

#risingjoy #Isaiah #justice

Don’t dwell on the past

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Don’t remember these earlier events; don’t recall these former events. Look, I am about to do something new. Now it begins to happen! Do you not recognize it? Yes, I will make a road in the desert and paths in the wilderness. Isaiah 43.18,19

Don’t recall these former events. The NIV says do not dwell on the past. Jesus said something similar in Luke 9.62. We are to continue looking forward and not look back. A few verses before, Isaiah makes reference to the destruction of the Egyptian army that had pursued the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Then he writes what the Lord has said. I am about to do something new. When we become a Christian, we should not dwell on the past, our past. God is about to change my life if I will only cooperate and receive what he wants to give. God can change my life in such a way that it is not even recognizable when compared to my past. He gives me a new direction! He puts me on the path that leads to eternal life and heaven! Don’t look back!

#risingjoy #Isaiah #past

Cities in ruin

Meditate on this verse:

I replied, “How long, sovereign master?” He said, “Until cities are in ruins and unpopulated, and houses are uninhabited, and the land is ruined and devastated, and the Lord has sent the people off to a distant place, and the very heart of the land is completely abandoned, Isaiah 6.11-12.

Offer this prayer:

Sovereign God, what ruin sin brings about! Keep sin away from us that many lives may be spared!

Savor this thought:

God is just. He throws down sin. Even his special people are not spared. He carries forward his plan.

Take this action:

Give yourself to God that he may cleanse you. Speak his word to others as he commands you to do.

#most #Bible #Isaiah

No one can compare to me! Isaiah 47.10

“You were complacent in your evil deeds; you thought, ‘No one sees me.’ Your self-professed wisdom and knowledge lead you astray, when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’”

Isaiah 47.10

The prophet denounced the arrogance of Babylon. The Lord used Babylon to punish Israel, v. 6, but they showed them no mercy. Now, destruction would fall on them, v. 11.

Do I remember that God sees all? Do I believe that I am so special that I can sin without being punished? Is my wisdom leading me astray?

#votd #Isaiah #self-deceit

The sun’s oppressive heat, Isaiah 49.10

“They will not be hungry or thirsty; the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, for one who has compassion on them will guide them; he will lead them to springs of water.”

Isaiah 49.10

Through his prophets, the Lord provided many vivid pictures of how he would bless the people of Israel after their restoration to the Land. These are suggestive of spiritual blessing, also.

Christians do not have the physical promises given to Israel. They look forward to greater things. What pictures of eternal life does my mind cherish?

#votd #Isaiah #blessing

You trust in your ability: Isaiah 30.12

“For this reason this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “You have rejected this message; you trust instead in your ability to oppress and trick, and rely on that kind of behavior.”

Isaiah 30.12

Israel ran to Egypt for help, but they would discover it to be a failure, vv. 1-7. They refused to listen to the prophets who directed them to seek God, vv. 8-11.

Isaiah summed up the choice: Trust in what God says, or attempt to do it ourselves. Doing the latter, we consider ourselves smart. God sees it for the foolishness it is.

#votd #Isaiah #trust

A tree whose leaves wither: Isaiah 1.30

“For you will be like a tree whose leaves wither, like an orchard that is unwatered.”

Isaiah 1.30

Isaiah’s imagery sees the wicked as trees who fail. This after mentioning the “sacred orchards” of idol worship. When the Lord judges, the unfaithful will not remain.

Contraste this image with Psa 1.3. In the present, and at the end, the righteous flourish. Which will you be?

#votd #Isaiah #trees

Do not panic: Isaiah 52.12

“Yet do not depart quickly
or leave in a panic.
For the Lord goes before you;
the God of Israel is your rear guard.”

Isaiah 52.12

The prophet foresees the time when exiles will return to Jerusalem. They will not hurry out from the nations as Israel left Egypt. Their departure will be confident and orderly.

Does the Lord surround and protect your life? Is there anything that causes you to panic? How does his presence and protection drive away fear?

#votd #Isaiah #panic #protection

Covenant mediator: Isaiah 49.8

“This is what the Lord says: ‘At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you; in the day of deliverance I will help you; I will protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people, to rebuild the land and to reassign the desolate property.'”

Isaiah 49.8

In this Servant passage, the Lord tells him he is the covenant. Jesus is evident here beyond the immediate promise to Israel. God has his time which may not be obvious to man.

God worked through Israel to bring the Christ to the world. At the right time Jesus came and died. We give thanks for God’s wonderful, sovereign plan of salvation.

#votd #Isaiah #prophecy #Messiah

An enduring witness: Isaiah 30.8

“Now go, write it down on a tablet in their presence, inscribe it on a scroll, so that it might be preserved for a future time as an enduring witness.”

Isaiah 30.8

The Lord commanded that Israel’s refusal to listen to him, as they sought ought Egypt to protect them, be written down to serve as a witness against their rebellion. The scripture served to condemn them.

God gives us his word in order to save us. That is his desire. He reveals in the Bible and especially in the New Testament his plan of redemption. But those who refuse it will be judged, Hb 4.12-13.

#votd #Isaiah #Scripture

Tremble at my word: Isaiah 66.2

“My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! ‘I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.'”

Isaiah 66.2

The Lord has always defined clearly those whom he approves and blesses. He is not interested in religious ritual, vv. 3. Trembling at his word means respect and obedience.

Fear for the Lord means fear for his word. The unrighteous are hostile toward those who uphold God’s word, Isa 66.5. People who diminish the word will be punished, v. 6.

#votd #Isaiah #obedience

Made for glory

“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”

Isaiah 43.7 NLT

God wanted to restore Israel so that the world might see and participate in his glory. Israel had failed miserably at being a light to the nations.

God’s glory is the manifestation of his marvelous person. He wants to draw every person into it. For that, he uses, today, the church to proclaim him, 1Pe 3.9.

#votd #Isaiah #glory

Arise! Shine! Isaiah 60.1

“Arise! Shine! For your light arrives! The splendor of the Lord shines on you!”

Isaiah 60.1

The book ends, 56.1—66.24, showing the restoration of Israel and the glory of Jerusalem. God calls the city to show its full glory as nations stream into it.

Jesus may allude to this verse in Mat 5.16. Our call, also, is to reflect God’s glory outward, as we are transformed by it.

#votd #Isaiah #promise

Humble and contrite: Isaiah 66.2b

“I show special respect to the humble and contrite, who respect what I have to say.”

Isaiah 66.2b

The Lord equates humility with respect for his word. The proud resist his instruction. He is not impressed with the builder of temples, v. 1, but with the one who “trembles” at his revelation.

Humility is not an outward defacement, but the inner realization of our place in God’s plan and of his nature greater than man can contain. Humility takes God’s word seriously.

#votd #Isaiah #humility

Judgment is near: Isaiah 13.6

“Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near; it comes with all the destructive power of the Sovereign One.”

Isaiah 13.6

The Lord would bring destruction upon Israel for the nation’s disobedience. He would send pagan armies against them. The prophets urged repentance, since judgment would be swift and sure.

Time is short. Prepare to die. The opportunity is now. No one knows his hour. Change your life. Commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. In him only is salvation.

#votd #judgment #Isaiah