“HERE I AM” GOD
Today’s Reading: Isaiah 65-66
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
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Key Verses: Isaiah 65:24
It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
God says, “Here I am, Here I am!” (Isaiah 65:1b). God has not left His human family. He has not isolated Himself from us. Isaiah 65 is God’s answer to the prayer of Isaiah we read in yesterday’s reading. God says through His prophet, “I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people.” The Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah’s words in Romans 10:20-21. We may want to read all of Romans 10 as a commentary on God’s dealings with both Jews and non Jews.
In his final chapter 66, Isaiah repeats twice more words he has written over and over, “Thus says the Lord!” Back in Isaiah 55:6-11 we considered how to get God’s Word, (His thoughts and ways) into our lives and world. Soak in the Word each day! God says, “Where is the house you will build for Me?” The answer is that the Temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed and the entire sacrificial system will be abolished once the final sacrifice is completed by the One John the Baptist called, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Tomorrow, the New Testament book of James!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, as I think back on the past month of readings in Isaiah, I do tremble at Your Word (66:2b). By Your grace I’ve trusted fully in the One Whom Isaiah said was yet to come. I’ve noted dozens of personal pronouns and meditated on the Person whose Name alone could replace those pronouns, the Child Who was born, the Son Who was given! Isaiah 9:6 goes on to state the fact that “His Name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” I pray that every reader of this blog, including myself, will know Him in a deeper and more intimate way than ever as a result of daily absorbing Your thoughts and ways. In His Name! Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’ve read the Jewish tradition that says that Isaiah died by being sawn in half by the last wicked King of Judah to reign during Isaiah’s time. It’s really hard for me to get my mind around the fact that such a powerful and persuasive prophet would have been rejected by the corrupt political masters and a segment of the people that agreed with them. The political masters of Jesus’ time were appointed by an exceedingly corrupt and evil Roman Emperor. The High Priest and his family members became very, very rich through their absolute control of the income from the 4,000,000 or so pilgrims who would visit Jerusalem each year for the mandatory feasts. Jesus said that the Temple had become a “Den of thieves.” The first Gospels tell of the cleansing of the Temple just before Jesus’ death and resurrection. As Bill O’Reilly points out in his book, “Killing Jesus,” it happened twice, once at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry (John 2:11-21), then later (Matthew 21:12 & 13). I found a clip from the “Gospel of John” movie that I’ve just watched (click here). I’m well aware that the average Jewish person (Jesus and all His disciples are Jewish) were not implicated in any way in either the execution of Isaiah or Jesus. The crowd in the courtyard who yelled “Crucify Him!” were all paid lackeys of the High Priest. The “Gospel of John” movie is a word-for-word depiction of his Gospel (the full movie can be viewed here).
Yours in recognition of the One Who said, “Here I am,” with prayer that all would turn to Him without delay asking for mercy and grace,
[Note: This blog posting was originally written January 20th, 2016]
P.S. As you may know, we are on the second time around for this two-year journey through the Bible with this blog. It was four years ago this morning when I awoke out of a sound sleep and the digital clock showed 4:00 a.m. Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice,” and I know I heard His voice, still and small outwardly but loud and big inside my spirit. He said, “David, shortly I will be awakening you every morning at this time. I want you to rise, read My Word, pray, and write a daily blog leading my people on a two-year journey through the Bible. Start in segments…Matthew, then move to Genesis, alternating back and forth between the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.” I hardly knew what a “blog” was, so over the next four months I experimented, asked my son David Reynold to use his Biblical knowledge skills as a professional photographer to take photos in all the Bible lands which matched as closely as possible the reading for each day. My son, Ronald, agreed to format the blog for me each day so all I have to do is fill in the brief Bible commentary, my prayer, and my personal words. Ann, Ron’s wife, checks each blog to make sure my spelling, punctuation, etc. is right. Thanks to family members and to Crossroads for taking this on as an official outreach of the ministry. Four years ago my Florida Pastor, Rev. Wayne Blackburn, concluded two weeks of prayer and fasting on Sunday evening. I went forward to the altar for prayer after the evening service, not having any idea what would happen at 4:00 a.m. the next morning. Thanks to the Pastor and people of Victory Church, Lakeland, Florida!