Isaiah 20:1-6 – Listen to God

Read Isaiah 20:1-6

I have a new respect for Isaiah having read today’s passage. I know I’ve read this before, but for some reason the idea of walking around naked for three years is applaudable. Having endured harsh Midwest winters, I can’t imagine walking around naked and shoeless year-round. But there is a definite message we should be taking here. It’s not about being naked, it’s about how Isaiah listened to God.

God said disrobe. Isaiah did. We don’t see Isaiah questioning, bargaining, avoiding or trying to talk God out of it. “Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign—a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.” We shouldn’t be surprised that God’s request was on purpose. God wanted to use Isaiah’s uncomfortable situation to make a point. Isaiah never questioned God. He just obeyed.

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Revelation 15:1-8 – We Are Conquerors

Read Revelation 15:1-8

When you are told to watch something or listen to something because it is of great significance, you probably lean in just a little bit more. Many of us can probably relate to when a friend shares a juicy tip about a new restaurant or sale at the mall. John is opening today’s passage saying this is a “marvelous event of great significance.” Time to pay attention!

Again, John takes us back to the throne room, and we are in the presence of those who have conquered evil. They are standing on a crystal sea singing their hearts out. They are all in for God, and their song of praise brings glory to God and to him alone. God has given them each a harp, a tangible reminder of their victory in Christ.

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Revelation 8:1-13 – Calm Before the Storm

Read Revelation 8:1-13

Have you experienced that almost eerie stillness that happens right before a storm? Growing up in the Midwest, that was a regular summertime occurrence for me. It wasn’t necessarily a favorite time of mine either because it brought to mind a very traumatic night when a tornado ripped through our town and my father was away on business, perhaps driving through that very storm. My mother did a great job of ushering us and our petrified cats to the basement. My dad arrived home safely after the storm had passed. I can still recall that memory, despite the fact it at least was fifty years ago!

The stillness in our text today wasn’t eerie. It was beautiful, and it was intentional. It was like heaven took a breath while the prayers of the faithful were burned with a sweet incense to the Lord. There was one more seal to go, but it was time to focus on the Lamb and on the victory. This pause was for us to take a breath and revel in the promises of God. We often rush through our days and all the tasks on our to-do list. Is spending time with God on your list? Does that quiet time include silence? How can we listen for the voice of God to direct our lives if we are surrounded by noise all the time?

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