Read Isaiah 1:1-17
Who is Isaiah? We aren’t given much of an introduction here, but from verse 1, we know he is the son of Amoz, and he received visions concerning Judah and Jerusalem. We will, as the book proceeds, learn more about who Isaiah is. For now, we can focus on the message. It’s time to listen, and the book of Isaiah doesn’t waste any time getting to it.
Before we get started, I do want to point out that the timeline puts Isaiah in history during the time when the original nation of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms. There was Israel in the north and Judah in the south. You may recall that the northern kingdom, Israel, had already gone down the road of sinfulness against God. Judah was heading in that same direction. Isaiah came primarily as a prophet to Judah, but his message spoke to those in the northern kingdom as well. We will probably glean some of the wisdom as well to be applied to our lives.
Continue reading “Isaiah 1:1-17 – Time to Listen”
Read Deuteronomy 18:15-22
I love the picture here of God giving the people what they asked for. They wanted to hear from God, but they didn’t want to hear his message directly again. It had really scared them in the wilderness. They thought they were going to die. Moses had become that spokesperson, but he wasn’t making the trek into the promised land with them. God would raise up another prophet or many others.
How would they know if it was a true prophet or just a false imposter? This is the answer. “If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message.” Depending on the prophecy, it might take days, months, or years to know if a prophecy was from God. That could seem like a lifetime to be following the wrong message.
Continue reading “Deuteronomy 18:15-22 – True or False?”
Read Hebrews 1:1-4
The book of Hebrews has several main themes, and one is that Jesus Christ is superior to everyone and everything. We will see descriptions showing how Jesus fulfills prophecy and the promises of God. This book was written to give encouragement to the Jewish Christians, likely before the fall of the temple in 70 AD. Because Jews as a people hadn’t all accepted Jesus as their Messiah, the Jewish Christians needed the assurance so they didn’t fall back into their old ways.
We also need encouragement in this dark world where there are so many forces of evil at work to try and lure us away from our faith. People say, I believe in God. Well, the demons believe in God. It is so much more than that. We need to cling to a faith in our superior king Jesus. Everything about Jesus reflects his Father, our heavenly Father. Continue reading “Hebrews 1:1-4 – Who is Jesus?”
Read 2 Peter 1:12-21
We are reminded here that Peter has first-hand knowledge of Jesus. He was part of the inner circle. He experienced things and witnessed miraculous wonders the others did not. It’s probable the people for whom he wrote this had never read an account of the Transfiguration (vv 16-18), but it was a story often told to identify Jesus. He was God’s son.
The life Peter had lived following Jesus’ death and resurrection had to have been thrilling. Frightening at times because he was not “politically correct” or even religiously correct. Many early Christians were persecuted and killed for their beliefs. God used Peter up until the end, and here Peter seems to be preparing his audience for his expected death. Peter wants them to remember all he has said and not fall away. How do you make a story memorable? Continue reading “2 Peter 1:12-21 – What Does Scripture Say?”
Read Luke 4:14-30
Did you get goosebumps when you read this passage? I did. I was totally immersed in the scene of Jesus preaching to his hometown crowd. The words from Isaiah that he read that day were, in fact, being made true that very moment. Profound. Miraculous!
I don’t think the people even realized. After all, wasn’t he Joseph’s son? This speaks loudly to us that Jesus did grow up quietly and in an unassuming way, never drawing attention to his kingdom royalty.
He did go on to explain, and even gave examples. The reality is that hometown kids don’t always get the best reception with those familiar to them. Many times, their mission was not in their hometown with those most dear to them. We need to be ready to be used by God wherever he leads us. Continue reading “Luke 4:14-30 – Rejected!”