It’s the first day of school in my town, and a very dark, rainy morning at that. I pray for the safety of all the kids on this normally chaotic day.
My bible plan has now begun the book of Isaiah. It is one of my favorites; however, I know many who might say it is their least. For me, I enjoy all the messages of hope that seem to follow up every single message of doom. Furthermore, I am keenly intrigued by those messages of doom. Why? Because I understand the sin that God is pointing out. There was a time that I would have refused to even consider all the wrong in my own life, let alone the wrong of the world. Just to make sure you understand – I saw LOTS of problems with the world. I rested in the fact that at least HALF of the political world saw problems clearly and correctly. All we needed to do is convince the OTHER half of how stupid they were. In reality, our hope lies in Jesus alone, not politics.
Yes, I do recognize the sin Isaiah points out. I recognize it in me, and I recognize it in my country and world. I have hope through this because I was saved, for what reason only God knows, and am now living in the light. Indeed, there is light, and with light, hope. So, for me, I primarily see Isaiah as a prophecy of hope. Not that there isn’t reason to fear the wrath of God. That will happen, too. It’s alarming to think that Isaiah could just have easily been writing about the United States as he was about his own people. Honestly, the bible speaks of the type of sin that is prevalent, but it doesn’t really speak into detail. One detail does come to mind, that of a man taking his step-mother as a sexual partner in 1 Corinthians. Other than that, it doesn’t really go into specifics. For all we know, we may be far more wicked than Sodom or Gomorrah combined! Right? Do we hear anyone say that? How do we know we aren’t? Sixty million abortions since Roe v. Wade? How does that fit into the equation? That’s one specific. Do you suppose there are any other areas we might be far worse?
To accompany my daily bible plan, I am starting a devotional I received through Truth for Life some time ago but haven’t touched until now. It’s entitled, “Isaiah by the Day, A New Devotional Translation” by Alec Motyer. I have always wanted to dive deeper into Isaiah and learn more about the prophecies, especially those concerning Jesus. In fact, I have been feeling as if I have not been digging deep into the bible in general for some time now. Then, I read this, on the very first day of my new devo:
Isn’t there a disciplined habit to be cultivated if we are to get to know our Bibles like Jesus knew his? Yes, indeed. But isn’t it easy for the habit to become an end in itself, a pride in moving the book-marker on the requisite number of pages per day? But no pondering the Word, no making sure its truth is reaching from the page to the mind and so to the heart, no concern for the Word to change us into the likeness of our Savior.
There you have it. Guilty as charged. The Holy Spirit pricked my own and gave me this reminder in case I might think it was a passing thing.
It’s all for my own good, anyway. Not only that, but it’s for my own pure pleasure and enjoyment. There really is no better way to spend time than to dig through the storeroom of treasure that is in the pages of my bible. No better source of encouragement or love. Or hope.
Why wouldn’t I want that every day?
Father, thank you. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers