Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25, 2012 … Hope Is In The Lord

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 207  

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Isaiah, Chapter 40-43 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Isaiah 40: 29-31 : [NIV] … 29 He [Yahweh] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 41: 4 : [NIV] … 4 Who has done this [i.e., released the Israelites from captivity under Cyrus II over a hundred years in the future of this prophesy] and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord—with the first of them and with the last—I am he." … 8 "But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham, my friend, 9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 42: 1-4; 10; 18-20 : [NIV] … 1 "Here is my servant [i.e., the Messiah], whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. 3 A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice; 4 He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth. In His teaching the islands [i.e., the remnant of believers] will put their hope." … 10 Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands [i.e., those who hold out hope/belief only in The Messiah], and all who live in them…. 18 "Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! 19 Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one in covenant with me, blind like the servant of the Lord? 20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen." 
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 43: 1-4 : [NIV] … 1 But now, this is what the Lord says — He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cusht and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. 

My Journal for Today: Well, if you’ve been following my journal entries and reading along with me in my chronological trek through the Bible, of late we’ve been studying the rather gruesome prophesies of Isaiah, primarily towards Judah, who, though Hezekiah had led them to a degree of strength and righteousness, was still under God’s chastisement for their waning of faith and wayward failings, falling away from His written word and will.

Isaiah had prophesied the fall of Judah to Babylon, which had to have been bummer news to the Lord’s people, especially the leaders of His chosen ones in Judah. But in Chapters 40-43 of Isaiah’s book, which was my study assignment for today, we see a shift in mood and a much more comforting message to any/all in Judah who might be willing to hear the Prophet and follow, in faith and hopefulness, the promises of God.

Have you ever been really down when you hear the evening news, with murder and mayhem leading the TV reports in your area? And when you look down the road, do you almost grieve for what you see what your kids and grandkids are likely to face in their future? The present and the perceived future are not a pretty picture, are they? Well, that’s the way things looked for Judah at the end of Chapter 39 of Isaiah. But here in these four chapters (i.e., 40-43) the message is one of hope and a future filled with joy and peace for God’s chosen believers.

In fact, … when I’m down and bummed out, possibly stressed out or emotionally weakened about the circumstances of my life, I have learned to use a few prescriptive verses to lift my spirits – passages like Prov. 3: 5-6, Is. 26: 3, Phil. 4: 6-7 &13, and 2nd Cor. 12: 9. But probably the main verse which lifts my attitude toward hopefulness and away from sinful anxiety is one of those from today’s reading - Isaiah 41: 10, which I’ve memorized in the NKJV and which reads, Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

Who, along with many of the verses and passages from these chapters from God through Isaiah, would not be uplifted … IF … that person truly believed these words from God. In these chapters, Isaiah is bringing God’s reiterated promises of the Messiah and the re-gathering of His chosen peoples into His promised land; and that is in spite of their horrible and chronic disobedience. Yes, the remnant of true believers should take great hope in the promises of these prophesies from Isaiah, highlighted above for your reading.

And if you feel dragged out and weary of heart from life these days, take note and BELIEVE in the promises of that oft quoted passage in Isaiah 40: 29-31. Go ahead and read it above. Read it OUT LOUD! Read it again!! … Doesn’t it make you feel good inside … right to the core of your soul? It sure does that for my spirit; and I implore you to place a “FAVORITES” mental marker on these passages in Isaiah in the future when you feel a bit down. And come back here and read through these chapters ALOUD; and if, as I do, you REALLY believe that God’s word and His promises are true, you’ll be uplifted by these words of God; and you’ll soar like the eagle with God’s promises of His return to bring us into His New Jerusalem.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, this morning I soar with hope on the wings of Your promises. Amen

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