Today’s Reading: Isaiah 1-2
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verses: Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Isaiah chapter one graphically depicts the sinful condition of the people of Judah (southern part of Israel). Their brothers in Northern Israel had done the same and been destroyed, ethnic cleansing scattering them throughout the world. Now the people of Judah are full of putrefying sicknesses (from God’s viewpoint) and have not sought God’s healing treatment (1:6). Isaiah explains that if it had not been for a faithful remnant in Judah, they too would have already been destroyed (1:9). God has not given up on the people of Judah and on Isaiah’s home city, Jerusalem. God says to them, “Wash yourselves…cease to do evil, learn to do good…seek justice…” Then comes the most gracious invitation of our key verse, “Come now…” God’s desire is not to destroy but to restore, rebuild, and provide for His people “the good of the land” (1:19).
In chapter two Isaiah prophesies a glorious future for the latter days of Judah and Jerusalem. We may want to read again Isaiah 2:1-5 for our encouragement. “Reason” does not ignore the downside of the people’s present condition, which would shortly result in their captivity in Babylon (present day Iraq). Even in the midst of such a mess, God’s invitation, “Come,” was available. Like the father in the story Jesus told of the prodigal son, God waits with open arms for the return of His people (Luke 15:11-32).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I say, “Yes” to Your invitation to “come” and to “reason together.” Lord, I have heard You give Your reasons as to why I should come to You, and I realize that it would be foolish and unreasonable for me to do otherwise. Therefore, I come to You daily, check up on how close to You I am, and move as close as possible. I pray that You will hold me in Your everlasting arms. In the Name of the One who made such closeness possible, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS: (plus)
My prayer of faith, when at sixteen years old I made my lifetime forever commitment to Christ, was based on Jesus’ promise found in John 6:37, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” My reasoning told me that God cannot lie and because I came to Him, He received me. I chose to believe God (reasonable). I’ve never doubted since that day that I am His and He is mine forever!
The words of Isaiah 2:2 (read Micah 4:1-3) became reasonable to me when In October, 2000, our live television signal uplink switched from Hanover, Germany (Expo 2000), to Jerusalem. There, my granddaughter, Sarah Shaheen (then 16) read these words from Isaiah and Micah live around the world, including live on the 100 Huntley Street telecast, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (2:3b). From that moment until midnight, December 31st, 2000, young people, non-stop, read the Jerusalem Scriptures, including the book of Isaiah, several times. We originated from a location directly across the valley from the closed Eastern Gate of Jerusalem, in the home where the German Lutheran “Sisters of Mary” had been in a prayer of repentance 24/7 for 50 years because of the holocaust which destroyed 6,000,000 Jews in Europe. They had just closed down when God allowed me to rent the house of prayer. The details of this arrangement were truly put into place by God. I believe that victories were won against the rulers of the darkness of this world and the one who styles himself as “the prince and power of the air,” Satan, by the reading of the Scriptures out loud on three international communications satellites for the remainder of the year 2000. Be exalted, O God of Heaven and Earth, GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!
Yours for spending time with God’s powerful and reasonable Word,
P.S. The photo below was taken in Bethlehem in what is a shopping plaza. Christmas shopping, encouraged by St. Nicolas (“sant-ni-clause”), was in full swing. Nicolas was Bishop of Smyrna when he visited Bethlehem approximately 1,700 years ago. As promised, here is episode #3 in the Christmas series from Bethlehem (click here).