Old Testament In a Year: September 15 – Isaiah 11, 12, 13

Isaiah 11, 12, 13
Focus Verse: You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. – Isaiah 12:1

In the day that God comes and makes all that is wrong right, and Christ establishes His kingdom on earth, and everything and everyone is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, then all believers will give thanks to the Lord. For He would have made us one, united in Him.

But even now, with the world in a state of chaos and with so many people unaware of God, we can still give thanks to the Lord. We can still sing a psalm of praise.

Though our sins cause God to be angry and though our faults and mistakes are displeasing to Him, He purposefully turns His anger away from us. Instead of madness, we experience His mercy. Instead of receiving anger, we receive assurance. Instead of guilt, we are given gladness. Instead of displeasure, we are shown divine love.

God does not treat us how we deserve to be treated. And that is a great cause for thanks.

Advertisements

Old Testament In a Year: September 14 – Isaiah 9, 10

Isaiah 9, 10
Focus Verse: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

A child was born to us. A son was given to us…and is with us still.

This prophecy by Isaiah was fulfilled in part, and it will be fulfilled completely at the second coming of Jesus the Christ.

Christ is our Wonderful Counselor because His character is wonderful. His Word, His creation, His promises, and His ways leave us full of wonder. Oftentimes, when we describe something as wonderful today we mean that it is good or beautiful or awesome; but when we describe God as wonderful, we are saying that He is beyond our comprehension and understanding. Because His ways are higher than our ways and because He is omniscient, we can go to Him for counsel about any matter. No problem or question leaves Him baffled. He is our Wonderful Counselor.

Christ is our Mighty God because He is God. He and His Father are one and the same. And He is mighty…through the world that He created, through the miracles that He worked, through the salvation that He gave…Christ is our Mighty God. Conquering, delivering, supporting, loving, helping, protecting, redeeming, judging, strengthening…Christ is a Mighty God who is always on the move for His own.

Christ is our Everlasting Father because He is one with His Father. Together, they have been in existence before time began and will be in existence forevermore. He has no ending, but is from everlasting to everlasting. Because of this, we can depend on Him fully and trust in Him completely. Family members may die, friends may leave, and the world will one day end…but Christ will never leave or forsake us. He is the Giver of everlasting life and whoever receives His free gift has Him for an Everlasting Father.

Christ is our Prince of Peace because He is the source of all true peace. Through the shedding of His blood on the cross, He authored peace between God and sinners. By providing one Gospel for all people, He authored peace between Jews and Gentiles. And today, He gives peace to all who choose to follow Him. He is our Prince of Peace.

Old Testament In a Year: September 13 – Isaiah 7, 8

Isaiah 7, 8
Focus Verse: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14

Despite our lack of trust in God, our refusal to ask of God, and our unbelief in “testing” God, He gave a sign anyway.

And the virgin did conceive. She did bear a son. His name was called Immanuel.

And Immanuel is with us today.

Thank God that He is a God who keeps His word, does not forget His promises, and fulfills signs and wonders. This Word that was spoken so many long years ago by the prophet Isaiah was made flesh. Now, it does not matter what trouble we are in or how great the problems we face, we know that we are never alone. We have a living hope. We serve a Savior who without question refuses evil and chooses good.

Old Testament In a Year: September 12 – 2 Chronicles 31, 32

2 Chronicles 31, 32
Focus Verse: With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. – 2 Chronicles 32:8

Ephesians 6 tells us that we do not fight against flesh and blood. And just as we do not fight against flesh and blood, neither do we fight with flesh and blood. As believers, we have God to help us and fight our battles – whether they are spiritual, financial, or physical.

This is why we can be confident regardless of what or who we’re faced with.

I am with you, God says. Therefore, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of hardship or trouble. Do not be dismayed when you receive a negative doctor’s report or fail to be promoted at your job. Because I am with you, not without you; because I am for you, not against you, you will experience victory in every battle. With this assurance, be encouraged and take confidence.

Old Testament In a Year: September 11 – 2 Chronicles 29, 30

2 Chronicles 29, 30
Focus Verse: Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. – 2 Chronicles 30:1

Hezekiah was one of the kings of Judah who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Not only did he do what was right, but he worked to help others do what was right, as well.

When Hezekiah set about to cleanse the temple, to restore temple worship, and to celebrate Passover, he did not do it alone. He knew he was doing a good work, the right thing, a holy effort, and he got others involved in it. He recruited the priests, the Levites, the officials of the city, singers, trumpeters, and the whole assembly. He sent letters throughout all Israel and Judah and to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting everyone who had a heart to return to the Lord, to do so.

As a result, not only was he blessed, but others were blessed as well. Collectively, they were pardoned, consecrated, and healed. Together, they feasted, sang, sacrificed, and praised the Lord with great gladness and thanksgiving. God is pleased when His people work together and worship together for Him. And when we are doing a good work for the Lord, we should not keep it to ourselves, but should spread it far and wide and seek to get as many others as possible involved.

Old Testament In a Year: September 10 – 2 Chronicles 27, 28

2 Chronicles 27, 28
Focus Verse: So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God. – 2 Chronicles 27:6

To order your ways before the Lord means that you prepare what you do and what you say by His commandments. Your behavior, your actions, your attitude, and your words are directed and guided according to God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s way.

Those who are careful to follow, obey, and order their ways before the Lord, will always experience success. They will experience temporal success in this world, but more importantly they will also experience eternal success in the world to come.

Old Testament In a Year: September 9 – Isaiah 5, 6

Isaiah 5, 6
Focus Verse: And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8

Through the Great Commission, God has already called every believer to “Go.” It is still up to each one of us to decide if we will answer the way Isaiah did or if we will shut our ears to the call of God. This is not a one time decision. It is a decision that has to be made every day, and oftentimes throughout the day.

During the times we spend in prayer and Bible reading, God will often remind us of someone we should be helping. When this happens, is our response one of willingness to listen to His reminder and act on it? When situations arise that require our prayers or our time or our money, do we say, “Here I am! Send me.”

Isaiah’s commission was not a pleasant one. He was told to go to his own people and rebuke them harshly. And he was told to rebuke them harshly until they were desolate and destroyed. May each of us have hearts that so want to see the will of God done on earth as it is in Heaven, that we readily say, “Here I am! Send me,” even when what God is telling us to do is hard or unpleasant.

Old Testament In a Year: September 8 – Isaiah 3, 4

Isaiah 3, 4
Focus Verse: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. – Isaiah 4:4

As true sons and daughters of God, it is not enough for us to repent of sin and to be forgiven for it. We must also put sin away from us; and for us to put it away, we need God’s help. We need Him to wash us and cleanse us. We need Him to scrub away our filth and replace it with faithfulness. We need Him to see beneath our outward displays of beauty and examine our hearts to make sure that we are truly holy and righteous on the inside.

Being washed and cleansed by God is neither a pleasant nor an easy process. It is, however, a process that is worth it because by enduring the judging and burning of the Spirit we will be made to look more like Christ. God knows the roads on which we travel, and after He has tested us, refined us, and purified us, we shall come out as pure as gold.

Old Testament In a Year: September 7 – Isaiah 1, 2

Isaiah 1, 2
Focus Verse: When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. – Isaiah 1:15

God has little appreciation for our public expressions of worship if the actions of our private lives are contrary to our public worship.

If we are living in sin and being punished by God because of that, no amount of fervent prayers or hands outstretched in worship or giving of tithes and offerings, will persuade God to stop the punishment. He is more concerned with us giving up sin then He is with us giving Him sacrifices.

If our hearts are not right with God, if we have not ceased from doing evil, if we have not learned to do good, if we are not seeking justice and correcting oppression, if we are not standing up for the rights of the marginalized and are not speaking up for those who have no voice, then God will not accept any form of service that we do for Him or any act of devotion that is shown to Him. He will, in fact, abhor it.