December 2 🌟 Waiting (Isaiah 64:1-9)

Read Isaiah 64:1-9

dog looking outside the window as if waiting for someone to return

I got goosebumps just reading the first two verses! As we read through these texts during Advent, I’d like you to do so using the “lens” of Jesus is coming. For us, we are waiting for Jesus to come back. Oh, what a joyous day that will be! The nations will most certainly tremble!

These verses just magnify God’s power yet keep him relatable. He’s not an untouchable God. Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is to have God working for me! “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!”

Continue reading “December 2 🌟 Waiting (Isaiah 64:1-9)”

Isaiah 66:1-24 – God’s People

Read Isaiah 66:1-24

A whole bunch of people

Chapter 65 would have been an incredibly positive place to end this prophetic book. There we saw what appears to be God’s plan to return his people to the beautiful world of peace and harmony, just as he originally created. But our world is full of sin, and final words were necessary to emphasize our need for a relationship with God.

I’m not a Biblical scholar or historian, but I do know the first audience hearing these words in post-exilic times were experiencing hardship, division, and indifference toward God. To get their attention here, God sends this message through the prophet. “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. But those who choose their own ways—delighting in their detestable sins—will not have their offerings accepted.” That’s a pretty clear message.

Continue reading “Isaiah 66:1-24 – God’s People”

Isaiah 65:17-25 – What Does Utopia Mean To You?

Read Isaiah 65:17-25

beach and palm tree

I remember I was in 5th grade when I learned the word “utopia.” It was social studies, and we were examining ancient civilizations. I remember being mesmerized by the word, wondering what “utopia” would mean for me. Wikipedia defines it as “an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.” When I read today’s passage, “utopia” was the word that came to me.

God promises to create a new heaven and new earth. From the sounds of it, it will be glorious – so wonderful that people won’t miss the old! As Isaiah’s first audience was finally free from captivity, these words must have held such hope for the future. They were returning to their home, Jerusalem. In reality, they would find it in shambles. Quite the fixer-upper! Would these words have encouraged or led to disappointment?

Continue reading “Isaiah 65:17-25 – What Does Utopia Mean To You?”

Isaiah 65:1-16 – God’s Decision Not Ours

Read Isaiah 65:1-16

quote: you're always one decision away from a totally different life
What kind of life do you want to be living?

Our opening line makes me think about God from a marketing perspective. “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’” In our marketing classes, we tell our students to be looking for those people who are looking for them. That’s the whole idea of attraction marketing. You want to be attractive and provide the goods or services to those who need them and want them. The image of God I have here is that he is waving his hands trying to get our attention.

How frustrating it must be for God to have given us the keys to the kingdom (in Jesus) only for us to leave them sitting on the table. It’s not just us. These prophetic words were originally directed to the Israelites, a people who was lost. That is, they were separated from God. What do we know of them? They rebelled. They were selfish. They followed other gods. Hmmm. That could be our society.

Continue reading “Isaiah 65:1-16 – God’s Decision Not Ours”

Isaiah 64:1-12 – Falling Short

Read Isaiah 64:1-12

potter molding clay

I have been known to say something very similar to the opening line of our reading today. “Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!” I am especially passionate about this when the world around me looks chaotic or dreary. Jesus is definitely the answer for me! Now, of course, Isaiah’s first audience had yet to meet Jesus or know that he promised to return. When they make reference to God coming down long ago, it was the remembrance of Mount Sinai in Exodus 19.

Since we don’t know when God plans to send Jesus back to earth, we can wait with joyful anticipation. Maybe it will be today! When it does happen, it will be a spectacle beyond our comprehension. When I look around, I see a world that is broken and hurting, definitely in need of a Savior.

Continue reading “Isaiah 64:1-12 – Falling Short”