Isaiah 8

Isaiah 8
Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

 

Isaiah 8.

There is trouble ahead for all who oppose God and oppress His people.

“But face the facts, all you oppressors, and then wring your hands.
    Listen, all of you, far and near.
Prepare for the worst and wring your hands.
    Yes, prepare for the worst and wring your hands!
Plan and plot all you want—nothing will come of it.
    All your talk is mere talk, empty words,
Because when all is said and done,
    the last word is Immanuel—God-With-Us.” (verses 9-10 MSG).

For the follower of God’s ways, He is with us. Always. His name is Immanuel. Where have we heard that name before? Just yesterday in Isaiah 7:14 (CEV): “But the Lord will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel, which means “God is with us.””

And He is! And I’m so thankful for that. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. Many can offer proof that God has been with them when they least understood or least expected it. He has surprised many, including me, with His grace and provision and protection when I needed it most! He will do the same for you as you trust in Him.

One other note:  there’s a cross reference in verse 11 to the New Testament writer Peter: “Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry what people may do. Honor Christ and let Him be the Lord of your life.” 1 Peter 3:14-15 (CEV).

God will bless you.

Yes! God will bless you!

 

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Want peace? Trust Jesus.

This is Graduation season! It’s “Pomp and Circumstance” for everyone from Kindergarten to College and beyond.  Graduates are parading across stages and moving tassels from left to right (or is it right to left?).  It’s a grand and glorious season for families everywhere.

What are the two emotions most people have during this time of the year? For both parents and graduates it is excitement, joy and pride for what they just accomplished. And simultaneous to that, it is fear for what is next on life’s journey. Will they be going away to college? Parents are worried about fall semester, freshman year and what their children might get into outside of the classrooms. Will they be off to boot camp? New recruits worry that they might be going off to battle. Will they start a new full-time job? New employees wonder if they will be able to do the work and then pay their own bills and live on their own.

When I graduated high school, a friend shared this promise with me, given by God to Joshua: “I have commanded you to be strong and courageous. Do not fear, do not be afraid or discouraged. I am the Lord your God and I will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Jesus echoed the same words in Matthew didn’t He?  The final words as He ascended into heaven are this: “Surely, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Whether you are a graduate or someone going through the seasons of life, fear can be paralyzing. Are you between a biopsy and a diagnosis? The silence can be debilitating. Did you do something you regret and now have to have a crucial conversation with your spouse? The guilt can be crippling.  Are you facing a new transistion? I heard this recently: “I know I need to get a new job, but I hate change.” Fear in all of these situations can prevent us from taking action, right? Fear nibbles at our heels and creates static noise in our heads.

But Jesus silences fear with His love. He brings peace… His perfect peace to all who trust in Him. Practically, it might be a bit of rough road getting from here to there. That’s okay. Remember, He is always with us. Give Him your fears and your anxious heart and enjoy the harmony of His peace.

 

 

(c) 2019 Rich Ronald.