Today's One Year Bible Reading

Isaiah

8:11-14 The LORD has said to me in the strongest terms: "Do not think like everyone else does. Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. I had to print the Classic NLT for this passage. I began reading the OYB Sept. 22 of 2000, so my first time reading this passage was 9/11/01! I can't tell you how comforted I felt by these words on that day! It was so fitting. I have marveled every year since!

As times disintegrate, we must keep these words of comfort in mind. Just this week I read that the Al-Qaeda is targeting Germany for another large scale attack in the coming weeks. Interestingly, the Islam Ramadan ends on the Feast of Trumpets this year (Rosh Hashana), which is September 19.

8:14 But to Israel and Judah he will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. We will list all of the Messianic prophecies we find, which will be a lot! That is one of the reasons I love Isaiah so much.

8:20-22 Look to God's instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness. This passage is RICH with meaning! First of all, we are to look to God's instructions and teachings. Where do we find these? Obviously the Scriptures, but part of understanding the Scriptures is to look to the ones He entrusted the oracles and teachings TO. Otherwise, we begin inserting man's wisdom instead of God's intentions into Scripture and we begin to contradict His words through false traditions and teachings. I believe what He is saying here about being "weary and hungry" is that when people do not understand the Word, and they contradict it with their teachings, they become weary and hungry for truth, unsatisfied in false teachings. This leads to cursing God because He does not "come through" for them (especially in the end times!). And their unbelief leads them to outer darkness, as Jesus prophesied to the Jews. This is outer darkness outside the Kingdom where they are not in the light of His presence. This is all my understanding and belief. The next verse is very important in this concept!

9:1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. 

9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. In our understanding of Jewish prophecy of cycles, this was fulfilled with the first coming of Jesus, but will be fulfilled again in the ever-expanding Kingdom of God (see verse 7!)!

9:3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. Think about it...ENLARGE the nation of Israel! Rejoice at HARVEST! We see some beautiful pictures emerging in Isaiah that we have studied for months. I have a feeling the best is yet to come!

9:6-7 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness. From then on and forevermore (Hebrew reads something like, "as far as the ages") the zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. The "increase of His government" will not stop until the end of the last age!

2 Corinthians

12:6 But I won't [boast], because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message. This is a good reminder to let people see who we are by how we live our lives, not by what we say we are. A picture does paint a thousand words!