Isaiah 66. Walking With God.

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 66.

The last chapter, the final word from this great prophet, is about worship, how we act and His promises to His children who will worship Him once again in Jerusalem.

“The LORD said, “Heaven is my throne. The earth is my footstool.” (v1, CEV). The image is that of a great and mighty king, right?

The Psalmist says, “The LORD says to my lord: sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”  (Psalm 110:1, NIV).

So, how are we to worship Him? “The people I treasure most are the humble— they depend only on me and tremble when I speak.” (v2, CEV). The Message says “a person simple and plain, reverently responsive to what I say.” We worship God not with brash arrogance nor pride that we are called His children. But rather, with our hands and heart open to receive and a posture turned toward honoring our great King.

Listen to the similar words of another prophet: “The LORD has told us what is right and what He demands: see that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern and humbly obey God.” (Micah 6:8, CEV). The NIV says we “are to walk humbly with your God.” I like the picture of walking with God, don’t you?

God promises that the people of Israel will always have a special place in His heart. “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear,” says the LORD. (v 22, NLT). What great comfort for the Jewish people, and all of us who have been grafted into this wonderful community because of the resurrection of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, Jesus, the Messiah!

What is the prophet’s final words, the last verse? “My people will go out and look at the dead bodies of those who turned against me. The worms there never die, the fire never stops burning, and the sight of those bodies will be disgusting to everyone.” (v24, CEV).

This is an image of hell, the true image of not walking with God.

But, as for me and my house, I will choose verse 2 over verse 24. Like Joshua rallied the people of God, I, too, will choose the LORD. How about you?

 

Thanks for reading Isaiah with me these past 66 days! I have loved this journey. I trust along the way you have learned a thing or two about God, and His special love for the people of Israel.  I have.

 

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 38. Changing God’s Direction? Yes.

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 38.

What an interesting and encouraging story! We can change God’s direction through our prayer!

This chapter opens with our friend Hezekiah gravely ill. In fact, he is told to put the affairs of his house in order for he will surely die soon. He begs God: “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” (v3, (NIV). He weeps before God as the prophet ponders that his work on earth might be finished.

The Lord’s answer? “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.” (v5, NIV). And the sunlight went back 15 steps on the stairway!

About his near-death illness, he says: “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” (v17, NIV).

“In your love…”

Can I tell you dear child, how much God loves you? How much He loves us all? Yes, He does things that we don’t understand, but they are for our benefit. Our gratefulness for those things is a blessing for our future.

It is up to us to share what God has done with our children: “Only the living can thank you, as I am doing today. Each generation tells the next about your faithfulness.” (v19, CEV).

“The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the Lord.” (v20, NIV).

Worship Him with Hezekiah… today and every day! And tell your kids about God’s trustworthiness. For He has saved you in His great love!

 

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 18

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 18.

Woe to Ethiopia. This is getting interesting, isn’t it? If you’re following along you’ll note that Isaiah is drawing this circle of countries of woe around Israel. It was Damascus to the north yesterday. Moab to the east earlier. In this chapter it is Ethiopia to the south.

As a part of God’s judgement, “The nation will be food for mountain buzzards during the summer and for wild animals during the winter.” (v6, CEV).

But then…

“Those Ethiopians are tall and their skin is smooth. They are feared all over the world, because they are strong and brutal. But at that time they will come from their land divided by rivers, and they will bring gifts to the Lord All-Powerful, who is worshiped on Mount Zion.” (v7, CEV).

The Ethiopians will bring gifts to the LORD! This may be a prophesy of one of the Magi who brings a gift to newborn Messiah in Matthew 2.  Isaiah is also saying that everyone will worship God on Mt. Zion. Those from Ethiopia and Moab and Assyria. And people from the USA and Japan and Sweden and Russia and Nigeria and… You see, ultimately, every knee will bow before God, the LORD, Yahweh, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Messiah (Isaiah 45, Romans 14 and Philippians 2)! Yes, every nation! Every people group!

“I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved.  I alone am God! No others are real. I have made a solemn promise, one that won’t be broken: Everyone will bow down and worship me.” Isaiah 45:22-23 (CEV).

Join me in worshiping God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit today.

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.