Tag Archives: Isaiah

Holy Week: Tuesday


John 12:37-50

Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”


Suffering Servant


Today’s reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Theme for the week: Hope

Questions to think about: What stands out to you in this passage? What do you hear God saying through His scripture? How do you respond to God? How might this passage challenge/encourage you to hope?


Fasting


Modern life offers many luxurious “perfumes” to cover up the smell of eternal death. When we are enjoying our favorite foods and entertainments, it can be easy to forget the decay of sin and death all around us. Lent helps us to remember that there is only one who actually reverses decay- the God who raises the dead.– Timothy G. Walton

As we move into the fifth week of Lent, this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on our fasting. Many of us gave up something for the season leading to Easter. At this point, it is good to ask, How is that going?

How is your fast? What are you learning? How is God using it to teach you? Has your fast become an annoying habit or a purposeful experience that is focusing you on God?

Let us not lose site of why we would participate in a fast. Instead, let us remember who God is, what God has done, and live in a way that responds to the grace of God.

Isaiah 58:1-14

“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10  if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.

13  “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”


Holiness


Sunday in children’s church we read a passage from Isaiah 6. After reading the passage and trying to imagine Isaiah’s vision, we had a conversation about holiness…. Isaiah saw God and encountered His holiness. When he did, he realized he did not stand a chance at remaining near God- he was so unholy. But he was not left that way. God had him purified. God desired not to destroy him because of being sinful, but God desired to make (and made) him holy. And when Isaiah was made holy, he could then respond to God.

This last week the theme through the Lent readings was holiness. Here are a few things that stood out to me. First, God is holy and I do not recognize this as much as I should. God’s holiness should be an overwhelming, awe inspiring realization… as it was for Isaiah. Second, I am very, very far from holy…. yet God desires to make me holy that I might be drawn near. God is not out to destroy me, but to make me holy that I might be a true worshiper. And this was my final thought as I thought as I reflected on the week, this is a journey. Just as I keep thinking of Lent as a journey towards something (Easter), every day is part of my journey towards holiness. Every day I am hoping to be overwhelmed more by God’s holiness; to realize my own lack of holiness; and to be made more holy by the One who desires to draw me near. It’s all part of a journey. And it’s an amazing journey.

“What a contrast between God’s character and ours! While human beings are disobedient and rebellious, God is gracious, merciful, and loving.” –Yusufu Turaki (Nigeria)


Post 276


Romans 5:17

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me,
Oh Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me,
Oh Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart,
Oh Holy Spirit,
that I love only what is holy.

Strengthen me,
Oh Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then,
Oh Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.

–Augustine of Hippo


What, now?


Do you ever get massively confused reading a passage of scripture? That may actually be a rhetorical question more than anything… Well, I discovered that it actually helps if you first make sure you are in the correct passage. I went to look up today’s Engage the Word passage looked at the chapter/verse assignments, thought “are you serious?” and then realized I was in the wrong book. Yes, it did happen. And you would have never known, except I just told you. Any way–

As I read the correct passage for today from Isaiah 51-53, I did have a couple of thoughts I would like to share with you. First of all, this passage could seem overwhelming and strange. It’s a passage of prophesy- something we don’t deal with very often. Second, I realized it would be very easy for us to just skip this passage, especially if we are trying to read with kids. But we don’t want to miss what is in this passage!

So I’m going to highlight a few parts and hopefully they will help us focus this passage to learn from it.

51:2

“Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor,
and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation.
Abraham was only one man when I called him.
But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.”

  • Do you remember God’s promise to Abraham? What was it? Do you see how God is still being faithful to His promise?

51: 5 has another promise… What is it?

52:4-6

  • What has enslaved the people?
  • What does God want them to recognize?

52:10 How does this connect with the promise to Abraham?

Chapter 53 is often identified as a very strong prophesy about Jesus. What connections do you make? Can you see some of Jesus’ story in this passage?