Archives for posts with tag: Isaiah

No one who waits for You will be disgraced; those who act treacherously without cause will be disgraced.” (Psalm 25:3, HCSB)

The word translated “wait” here is an interesting word in the Hebrew.  The Passion Translation explains:

The Hebrew word most commonly translated as wait (wait upon the Lord) is qavah, which also means to tie together by twisting, or entwine, or wrap tightly. This is a beautiful concept of waiting upon God, not as something passive, but entwining our hearts with him and his purposes.”

The Passion Translation translates the first part of Ps. 25.3 as: For how could anyone be disgraced When they’ve entwined their hearts with you?

We think of waiting as something passive; the Hebrew concept of waiting, especially when it came to the Lord seems to be something more active.  We wrap ourselves tightly around God and his purposes and then when he moves, we move also, in a seamless, unified manner.  His heart is our heart and his ways our ways, His purposes our purposes, and His will our will.  This puts Isaiah 40.31 into new perspective:

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV)

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“Why do you ask My name,” the Angel of the Lord asked him, “since it is wonderful.”” (Judges 13:18, HCSB)

The “Angel of the Lord” drops an interesting hint here when he says that his name “is wonderful.”  The Faithlife Study Bible points out:

Its [the word “wonderful”] occurrence here on the lips of the Angel of Yahweh—Yahweh in human form (compare Exod 23:20–23)—provides a subtle connection with the notion that the Messiah would also be Yahweh embodied, since the same term appears in Isa 9:6 (pele yo’ets; “counselor of wonders”).

The child who will be born, upon whose shoulders the government will rest, who will be called “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” and “Prince of Peace,” will also be known as the “Counselor of Wonders” [or Wonderful Counselor].  So there is a close connection between the Angel of the Lord and the coming Messiah.  Historically, the Church has believed that the Angel of the Lord is a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ himself!

This Man, who lived a perfect life and who died for our sins, who rose again to life victorious, marking himself as the firstfruits of resurrection which will extended to all who follow him by faith, of COURSE his name is Wonderful. What else could it be?

For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.” (Isaiah 63:16, ESV)

The problem that is acknowledged here is that at the time Isaiah writes this beautiful verse, God’s people were not acting like God’s people.  Indeed, they had strayed so far from the Law that their own ancestors wouldn’t recognize that they were people of God!  This is sobering.

However, the astounding truth is that, even though they weren’t acting like God’s people, and even though their own ancestors would point this out, they were still God’s children! You are our Father…our Redeemer from of old. The relationship between God and his people didn’t rest on what they did, but on who they were; which is not to say that they weren’t going to experience the painful correction of the Lord because they were.

This is solid truth for the stumbling journey that we make as we seek to navigate the life of faith.  Who can claim perfection in the journey?  Who hasn’t failed Our Lord?  Who wouldn’t be guilty to the charge of our own ancestors that we have failed in our Christian walk? I know I would be just as guilty as these Israelites.  However, we are still God’s children because his relationship with us doesn’t rest on what we do, but on who we are. Which is not to say that we aren’t going to experience the painful correction of the Lord because we are, and for this we should be grateful because it means both that he love us, and that we are indeed his children.

 

 

And thou shalt derive sweet nourishment from the nations, Yea on the bounty of kings shalt thou be sustained,— So shalt thou know— That I、 Yahweh am thy Saviour, and That thy Redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isaiah 60:16, EMPH)

This verse is set in a context in which Isaiah is addressing Israel as a country.  When God sums up and concludes history, the nation of Israel will “derive sweet nourishment from the nations.”  We know, however, that this passage applies beyond just the nation of Israel because vs. 11 [“Your gates shall be open continually; day and night they shall not be shut, that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession.” (Isaiah 60:11, ESV)] is reflected in Rev 21.25, when God sums up all of history and calls home his people to be with him forever.

Isaiah is looking beyond just the Jewish nation to the time when all those who follow Christ by faith will join together for all of eternity to praise and worship God.  We–Christians–will know [by experience] that Yahweh is our Saviour and Redeemer.

This is a promise that cannot cease to amaze us, and if the promise is remarkable, how much greater the actual reality?

“For ||thus|| saith he that is high and lifted up—
Inhabiting futurity、
And ||holy|| is his name:
<A high and holy place> will I inhabit,
Also with the crushed and lowly in spirit,
To revive the spirit of the lowly, and
To revive the heart of them who are crushed;— ”
https://ref.ly/Is57.15;emphbbl

There is an amazing juxtaposition in this verse between God and what Isaiah calls “the lowly.”  Here God is the “high and lifted up” one, the one who inhabits futurity [or eternity].  This God is called holy.  Now, if we didn’t know better, we would assume that this God would be too busy with other things to worry about the lowly.  He is great and powerful and holy and lifted up, so doesn’t he spend his time with the powerful and wealthy?  Does he have any time at all for those who are poor and oppressed and hurting?

The funny thing is, he certainly does, indeed he goes out of his way to assure us that his heart and mind and strength and power are committed to “the crushed and lowly in spirit.”  He wants the lowly to live and those who are crushed he wants to bring to life and sustain and comfort.

What does God get from this?  Nothing from the lowly, they don’t have anything at all to offer except their own crushed and broken spirit.  The funny thing is, this seems to be exactly what God is after.  He calls the broken to himself and comforts them.  Jesus will put it this way:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
https://ref.ly/Mt11.28-29;esv

Doesn’t Jesus in Matthew sound a lot like God in Isaiah?

 

 

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ”
https://ref.ly/Is55.10-11;esv

I love this passage and often pray it before I am about to preach or teach.

The promise here is that the Word of God will accomplish its purpose. My own words do not have this power, it is only God’s words that have this power and that carry this promise.  This is why it is so vitally important to get people to read or hear God’s word.

A missionary couple from our church [Gabriel and Rachel Nunez] work with the Ka’apor tribe in Brazil and a team came down to Brazil this spring and recorded some native readers reading the Ka’apor Bible so that they could make a recording and play it for Ka’apor tribe members, since literacy is spotty in the tribe.  I think this is an awesome project because it takes God’s words in Is 11 seriously and seeks to get God’s word into the eyes (and ears) of as many people as possible.  God has promised to bless these efforts.

Of course if this statement from God is true, and it is, then looking at our own lives we ought to be diligent students of God’s word because this is what will carry power in our own lives, not books on Christian subjects and issues, though they are certainly good, not even what someone else thinks about the Bible, even though these are good to read and helpful.  The power, as God points out clearly here, comes from God’s words themselves so we should read and meditate and absorb and love and enjoy God’s word.  There are no words so true, no words so powerful, and nothing more important that we can be doing.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ”
https://ref.ly/Heb4.12;esv

 

O thou humbled one、 storm-tossed、 uncomforted,— Lo! I am about to set、 in antimony、 thy stones, And will found thee in sapphires;…And all thy children shall be the instructed of Yahweh,— And great shall be the prosperity of thy children.” (Isaiah 54:11,13, EMPH)

What strikes me about this passage is the way that the Lord describes his people.  Using the singular to refer to all of Israel, he calls them “thou humbled one, storm-tossed, uncomforted.”  This sounds like a people in need of rest and refuge, and this is exactly what we discover.  The humbled and storm-tossed can expect the prosperity of their children to be great, and they will be instructed by Yahweh himself.

There is an incredible promise here of people who are tossed about by the difficulties of life being able to rest in the Lord in peace, comfort, and security.  Whether this passage refers to a millenial kingdom on earth when God will reign, or if it looks forward to the end of the ages when God’s people will be with the Lord forever, depends upon your particular brand of theology.  What isn’t in dispute is that God’s people can look forward to a time of peace and safety.  The humbled one(s) will be lifted up in the presence of their Father, the storm-tossed wind and waves will subside, and the ones who are uncomforted will rest in the peace and comfort of God’s kingdom. Happy days indeed!