Reflection on Isaiah 62:1-5

Scripture

The nations will see your righteousness;

world leaders will be blinded by your glory.

And you will be given a new name

by the Lord’s own mouth.

Observation/ Application

Isaiah says he loves Jerusalem and will not stop praying for her. Her hard times will give way to glory and righteousness. Then the nations will see Jerusalem and be blinded by her glory.

This speaks of the church. This is the “new name” for Jerusalem. The covenant isn’t just with Israel any more but to all who love Jesus.

So, like Isaiah, we should continue to pray for the church- the assembly of christians, the people who love God. We should pray for the local church, persecuted christians around the world, the mission of the church locally and globally.

As we learn to more fully worship and obey the Lord, nations will come streaming to the church. When we live in the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, the radiance of God shines from us to those who are thirsty for the Lord.

World leaders and local politicians will see the way that christians live and what they achieve. They will ask “How do you do that?” The ways of the Holy Spirit are perplexing and attractive to those who do not know the Lord.

Of course, those who see what the church is and what it does and don’t like it, will rise against it. There are many people who do not like the light but prefer the darkness. Persecution will always be a fact of life for christians, but what glory awaits for those who remain faithful to the Lord.

Prayer

Help me Lord to see the glory of your church. May the nations come to taste of your mercy, and leaders see your glory. Amen.

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Reflection on Isaiah 43:1-7


Scripture

“Don’t be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Reflection

God calls Israel (and us, His followers) to not be afraid. The Lord is God, and He has called me by name. He knows me; He knows my circumstances; He knows my fears.

The Lord says to me, “Do not be afraid! I am with you.”

God has ransomed me. He is my Redeemer. We celebrate the coming of Christ into the world at Christmas, and it is easy to miss the point that the baby will grow and mature and give His life as a ransom for many. A ransom for me!

If God loves me like this, can anything overcome Him? Can anything hurt me so that I should be afraid?

No! God’s love is never ending. He has ransomed my soul. I was in captivity to sin, but He has set me free.

He has called me by name. I am not a number in a computer, but a person with a name. God knows my name. He called out to me as Jesus called out to Lazarus, “Lazarus come out!”

My captivity is over. My bondage is broken. I am dancing on my chains!

I am Christ’s, He declares that He owns me. I am no longer living without purpose or direction. Now I follow Jesus, and He directs my path.

I am His, but not as a possession or a plaything. I am a part of the Bride. He tells me, “You are mine” because He loves me. I am safe at His side.

Prayer

Thank you so much Lord for redeeming me, ransoming me, setting me free from bondage to sin and death. Amen.

Reflection on Isaiah 6:1-8

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Scripture

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Observation

Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on a lofty throne, the train of His robe filling the Temple. Mighty seraphim surround the throne singing praise to the Lord. The voices shake the Temple, and smoke fills it.

Isaiah is filled with fear because he recognises his own sin. One of the seraphim touches Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal from the altar and declares that his guilt is taken away.

Then the Lord asks, “Whom will I send to this people?” Isaiah volunteers, “Here I am Lord. Send me.”

Application

God is a sending, missionary God. His desire is to send His people to tell the world about sin, God’s love, and His forgiveness.

The mark of the truly born again christian is that they are willing to be “sent”; that is to be God’s messenger. Isaiah’s guilt was not taken away for his own benefit alone. It was done to equip him to go and tell God’s message.

We get it wrong when we think that we have been saved for our own benefit alone. The blessing is to be shared, for when we share a blessing we multiply it.

My salvation equips me to tell others how to be saved. In fact it energises me to “Go” and tell others.

God will not stop sending His people until the very last person on earth is saved.

Whenever we pray, praise or worship the Lord, our attitude should be, “Lord here I am. Send me.”

Prayer

Lord, please show me who you are sending me to today. Who is the person you want me to take the gospel to? Here I am Lord. Send me. Amen.

The Seal Of The Prophet Isaiah

Melanie Phillips writes:

isaiah-seal-impression-or-bullaIsrael 

IS THIS THE SEAL OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH?

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The Hebrew University archeologist Dr Eilat Mazar has made what may be one of the most extraordinary finds ever made. In her excavations of the remains of the first Temple in Jerusalem, she has uncovered a bulla, or seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah.

Her team discovered the bulla during renewed excavations at the Ophel, located at the foot of the southern wall of Temple Mount. In an article published last week in Biblical Archaeology Review, entitled “Is This the Prophet Isaiah’s Signature?”, she describes the impression as inscribed with letters and what appears to be a grazing doe, “a motif of blessing and protection found in Judah, particularly in Jerusalem”.

The legible letters in first Temple Hebrew spell out “Yesha’yah” and, on the line below, the partial word “nvy’. Yesha’yah(u) is Hebrew for Isaiah; with an additional letter aleph, “nvy” would correspond to the Hebrew word for prophet.

In the absence of other letters, however, the question is whether the seal belonged to the prophet Isaiah or a different Isaiah altogether. Fascinating details of the relevant factors for consideration are laid out in this article in The Trumpet, the news magazine of the Philadelphia Church of God whose Herbert W Armstrong college in Oklahoma sends volunteers to help with the Temple excavations.

Mazar says: “Without an aleph at the end, the word nvy is most likely just a personal name. Although it does not appear in the Bible, it does appear on seals and a seal impression on a jar handle, all from unprovenanced, private collections. The name of Isaiah, however, is clear.”

The bulla was found only 10 feet away from where in 2009 Mazar’s team unearthed 34 bullae one of which, they discovered in 2015, bore the inscription “Belonging to Hezekiah, [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah.” Mazar, who has also uncovered King David’s palace, Solomon’s royal complex, Nehemiah’s wall and a golden medallion featuring a menorah from the seventh century CE, has described the Hezekiah bulla as the most important individual discovery of her career. From references in the Bible, it seems the prophet Isaiah was a close spiritual adviser to King Hezekiah.

Some other scholars have questioned whether the Isaiah named on the bulla was the Isaiah.

Dr Mazar herself is being scrupulously cautious, merely presenting the evidence and her own opinion of what it is most likely to signify. She asks, however, how likely it is that this bulla could belong to an Isaiah other than the Isaiah.  The “chances of it belonging to any other but the known Prophet Isaiah”, Mazar told The Trumpet, “are extremely slim”.

The editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, Dr. Robert Cargill, has praised Mazar for being cautious about the identity of the Isaiah whose name is on the bulla. “But if you’re asking me, I think she’s got it. You’re looking at the first archaeological reference of the prophet Isaiah outside of the Bible. It’s amazing.”

Reflection on Isaiah 40:21-31

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+40.21-31

Trust the Lord, all you people

Again I say, Trust the Lord

It is He who made all things

Above the world, above the sky

And rules the world

The affairs of men.

Presidents and kings, rulers and bosses

All serve at His pleasure.

They think they’re so big

But they are flowers in the sun.

What about us?” you say

God controls the stars, but He forgot me”

No! If you are weary

Wait on Him.

He will lift you up

And give you strength for the marathon.