(For some reason the spell check isn't working...I'm afraid you are just going to have to enjoy my creative spelling)
It's a new year, but seeing as we have not finished the great work of Isaiah are not moving on to a new book. We are however, skipping ahead just a tad.
Maybe it's my 27 years of wisdom or the fact that I am turning into my mother but New years is hardly ever a happy time anymore. I can't stop myself from thinking, what crap is going to hit the fan this time around.
I know this is not a good attitude, and the past week while I have been battling these thoughts the Lord has pushed me past, "In this world you will have trouble" to "take heart, for I have overcome the world". So I believe that it is perfectly fitting to skip forward to Isaiah chapter 40. Where the setement is the same, "Take heart for our God is always greater than our ciurcomstances and our fears."
Isaiah chapter 40
Step one: Think about the horrible things you fear...take an honest look at the nightmares you drum up in your mind on a daily baisis. I won't throw out any here because I don't want to make generic shalow examples that we can all relate to an therefore give us all an excuse to ignore to real deep personal ones.
Once you have noted some of these demons in your closet open up the word of God and turn to Isaiah chapter 40. Read through the chapter slowly considering all the claims that Isaiah makes about God. He is the one encthrowned above the circle of the earth, and it's people are like grasshoppers.(40:22) He does not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.(40:28)
What Judah needed was a good old reminder of how Awesome their God was. They also needed to be reminded that although he was awesome, he is also personal. He is ready to give strength to those who put their hope in Him. They did not know what tomorrow would bring but they did know that they would not be alone.
Now that you have some time for the warm fuzzies it's time to get down to buisness.
The next two chapters continue to talk about God's character and the peoples sin/chooseness/createdness. Despite the clear representation of God's people as complet failuress as far as the law is concerned Isaiah paints a picture of who they are as the redemmed. God's faithfulness is a clear theme but so is his might and ultimate power over creation. (One thing to note is all of the refences to creation and the fact that his people are a part of it.)
I don't strugle with the mightness of God as much as I used to. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom..He is not a tame Lion...I get it. :) But reading through these chapters this week and studying the pictures of God's people as a part of creation I was suprised at how I don't think about myself that way. Not that I don't understand that I was created by God...but I don't really factor that into my identity. I feel because we people all have souls and we were made in his image that we are seperate from that ultimate plan for everything that he had before he spoke the world into existance. By seperating myself and making myself more importaint than a noraml part of creation I take me out of the comfort of his soverignty.
I am not really explaining this all so well, so I am going to lead you in the direction of the scrpture give you some questions to answer and I will see you, my fellow created beings on Thursday. :)
Try to take the time to read through 40-43. I know a lot of these chapters we have read a millon times but try to read them with fresh eyes.
1.Find five verses that create pictures of who God is.
2. Is there anything that you have read that scares you more than comforts you?
3. Throughout the passage there are several references to reasons for God's mercy on his people. There is a clear understanding that the people the people were created by Him for HIS glory and because of his mercy they would be his "witnesses".
a. What refrences do you find that talk about why God created his people?
b. After so many amazing pictures of the mightness of God, what does it mean to you that you are part of His creation?
c. Does the fact that you are God's creation created for his glory make you feel differently about the worries you have about the future?
I'll close with a good one for the new year. See you Thursday.
"Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past.
See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not precieve it?>
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." 43:19