Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Pont Aven, France

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for July 25, Isaiah 40-43.

Today's readings are Isaiah 40-43. Tomorrow's are Isaiah 44-48.

Notice that Isaiah beings talking about the "servant" in Isaiah 41. When this first appears, the servant is Israel, the united nation. This will be one of the themes of the following chapters just as one of the general themes of the first 39 chapters was "king". Keep this in mind as the book continues to develop. This transition from king to servant will be one of the keys to understanding Isaiah. At this point Israel, the northern kingdom, has been taken captive and has truly become a servant, as has their king. Judah will soon follow. 

There is good news and bad news in these chapters. Israel and Judah will pay for their sin and rebellion, pay dearly. There will be war and suffering. But, in time, God will deliver them and bring them back home. Not only will He deliver them, He will punish those who oppose them. 

By now, we're beginning to see that God always delivers His people when they turn back toward Him and repent with contrite hearts. No matter how many times they fall away, He shows them grace when they cry out to Him with hearts that long to be closer to Him. By the end of Isaiah 43, we see that God does this, not for their sake, but for His. They are clearly unworthy of such grace. God's intention is to reveal, through the work He does in His people, His glory. 

We should see ourselves in the stories of Israel and Judah, totally incapable of saving ourselves. Like Abraham, we were wandering through life when God chose us to demonstrate to the world that He can transform and redeem anyone He chooses regardless of their circumstances. Furthermore, just like Abraham, once chosen, we continued to stumble, incapable of sustaining our eternal status or completing our walk on our own. Abraham, The two kingdoms...and each of us...are totally dependent upon the grace of God and His faithfulness if we are to have any hope.

Praise God, He is faithful, powerful and true. Praise God, He is patient. 

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