Sunday, July 28: Isaiah 1 – 4
Monday, July 29: Isaiah 5 – 8
Our Year of Scripture moves from the Historical Literature of Ancient Israel and Wisdom Writings of the Old Testament into the Prophets. From Isaiah to Malachi, the next 17 books (with the exception of Lamentations) will take us through the messages (often referred to as “Oracles”) given from God to the Prophet and then directed to either the king or the people. On Sunday morning many of these same readings are coming up in our Semi-Continuous reading of the Old Testament. I’ve given this warning to those here, “these are often dark, harsh, odd texts” but we have to remember this was dark time for the nation of Israel. Kings were corrupt, people were falling further and further away from God, and the message from the prophets reflected all of that. As we turn the page into Isaiah, we will find that his message is no different.
Isaiah’s writings take us to the Southern Kingdom, and the nation of Judah during the time of King Uzziah (2 Kings 15), Ahaz (2 Kings 16) and Hezekaiah (2 Kings 18). Along with speaking directly to the king and the people, Isaiah’s words speak future forward to the coming of Christ. With this, we find a bit of good news and hope in the midst of our daily reading. Take for instance, my reading through chapters 1 – 4 left me asking “did you get all that?” and the simple answer was “no”. Then, starting day 210, I said, “ah!”
“My beloved had a vineyard . . .” (Chapter 5) A familiar text, a familiar story. Even though the vineyard is practically destroyed, I rejoiced knowing the Jesus becomes the new vine grower and that we are all grafted into the vine of God!
“Holy, Holy, Holy . . . ” (Chapter 6) Isaiah’s vision of the throne of God and his encounter with the live coal that touched his lips. What a moment that must have been for Isaiah to take in the splendor of God. For me, I read this an am transported back to my days in college, making toast on the top of a gas range. Seeing a tasty crumb left on the fork after I had toasted my bread, I decided to eat it, yet failed to think of how hot that fork might have been. With a quick sear, the fork left tine marks in my upper and lower lips, with nice blisters in between. Ouch! Isaiah’s coal, might have done the same, and purified him to speak the holiness of God.
“A virgin, shall bear a child and you shall name in Immanuel . . . ” (Chapter 7) God is with us! The future forecasting of Mary and her conception by the Holy Spirit is told for all to hear. Good news is on the way!
Lastly, before I close for today, how about a quick look at the BibleProject.com and as we listen to their break down on the rest of Isaiah.
Readings for the next few days:
Tuesday, July 30: Isaiah 9 – 12
Wednesday, July 31: Isaiah 13 – 17
Thursday, August 1: Isaiah 18 – 22
Friday, August 2: Isaiah 23 – 27