My trip through the Scriptures has taken an unexpected detour. When I finished Kings, I assumed the next stop was going to be Chronicles since that’s what comes next. But, the Read Scripture app skips over several books, and heads straight for the books of the prophets. I’m assuming this is because these books were written during the time of Israel’s exile, so it makes sense to read them now.
I’m excited for this detour because I’ve never read the books of the prophets before. I’m not sure why, but perhaps I was a little intimidated. I thought I’d need study guides to understand the prophecies. But, I’m going to try to make it through with only the Holy Spirit’s guidance this time. It’s a more authentic experience for me this way.
Scholars have said that Isaiah was speaking to the men of Judah about their time and near future occurrences. But, I can’t help but see that much of what I’ve read so far has present application, as well. I believe that God is not bound by time or distance, like we are. So, it seems completely possible to me that God’s Word also has this freedom of movement through time and space.
From Isaiah’s mouth came dire messages from God to His people. Isaiah’s lips had to be purified with hot coal before they could fulfill their purpose. How could Isaiah speak on behalf of God if from his lips spewed impurities? How could he fulfill his purpose if he had no control over his own tongue?
Then one of the seraphim
flew to me,
having in his hand a burning coal
that he had taken with tongs
from the altar.
And he touched my mouth and said:
"Behold, this has touched your lips;
your guilt is taken away,
and your sin atoned for."
I admire the strength of character and steady conviction of the prophets I’ve met so far on this Bible journey. And, I’m already saying, “Wow,” throughout the first eight chapters of the Book of Isaiah. I was so engrossed in what I was reading that I could barely tear myself away to take notes. These are some of the thoughts I had along the way…
(The underlined verses link you to the actual passages of Scripture.)
1:2 - Wow, so very sad. My heart breaks for the Father. "Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me." 1:11 - The Lord is tired of their empty sacrifices. Sacrifices made so that they can keep sinning. I wonder if He feels that way when we knowingly sin with the intent of asking for forgiveness later. That’s not authentic love. It’s not faithfulness. That’s philandering by definition. No loved one would or should put up with such a philandering fool. 1:13-14 - Your professions of love are false. You can’t possibly love Me. So stop pretending. Don’t honor Me on holidays if you can’t honor Me all day every day with your loyalty and commitment. You’re a liar and I cannot tolerate that any longer. 3:8 - I know this is supposed to be addressed to the men of Judah, but this sure sounds like it could speak to our time. "For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious presence."
5:20 - This whole chapter! All the chapters thus far! Wow!! But this verse right here is like today. Good is not desired. Good is even undesirable. Bad is promoted and embraced. "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" Chapter 6 - Isaiah is anointed, not with oil, but with hot black coal. Not on his head, but on his lips. He needs no thoughts of his own because God’s thoughts flow from his lips. And despite His words, spoken through Isaiah, the people will be blinded. Their hearing will become dull.
They cannot see or hear the truth, yet their feet are uncovered. They will walk about aimlessly, crashing into one another, bumping into walls, bruising themselves. They will do themselves harm and not even feel it. But there will be a small percentage that God will spare. The righteous ones. They will stick close to God because there will be destruction all around them. 7:9 - Love this! If you are not firm in faith, you are not firm at all. 7:14-16 - Immanuel! God with us! Jesus! But before He comes, the lands of Israel and Syria will be deserted. He will know good from evil and choose good. This reminds me of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. Only the Son of God can responsibly choose between good and evil. Mere mortals, with that knowledge, choose evil every time.
*Join my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)