Read Isaiah 1 -- 4
In Today's Reading:
Israel's sin; Isaiah's exhortation for repentance; coming of Christ's kingdom; Jerusalem's glorious future
The Lord chose the Israelites to take His written Word to all nations. It must have been with deep sorrow that God led Isaiah to say: Hear . . . and give ear . . . for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib (manger): but Israel doth not know. . . . they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward (turned from Him) (Isaiah 1:2-4). Isaiah recorded how the Lord had chosen and cherished the Israelites, only to have them turn against Him by worshiping idols. The Lord lamented that even the animals He had created knew Who their Master was, but the sinful Israelites refused to recognize their responsibility to their Creator. The Lord warned that, if they continued to rebel against His Word, they would suffer His judgment: If ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it (1:20).
Like our Heavenly Father, it must have been heartbreaking for King David, the great prophet Samuel, and godly King Josiah of Judah, all of whom had children who were rebellious and did not obey the Word of God. The Lord has provided His written Word which, through the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, will teach us how to experience the joy of forgiveness and deliverance from guilt and condemnation of sin.
Many godly parents are heartbroken when they see their children turning from the Lord. Like our Heavenly Father, they too feel sorrow over children who are uncommitted to the Lord, to reading the Bible, or to regular worship in a local church. Whether or not our children succeed or fail in their earthly goals, by comparison, it is of little eternal consequence, for only their spiritual achievements bring true success and eternal rewards.
God graciously called the Israelites to sit and talk with Him and recognize their sins. He promised to forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness, if they would only repent of their sins, when He said: Come now, and let us reason together . . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (1:18).
Isaiah was called to comfort those who were faithful to the Holy One (see 1:9). He prophesied of a coming King Who would reign in righteousness and peace. When the Messiah comes, many people shall go and say, Come ye, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3).
As the One Who will judge the nations (Isaiah 2:2-4; compare Micah 4:1-3). Our Lord is the righteous Judge Who will reward those who obey His Word and look for His return (Romans 6:17-18; II Timothy 4:1-8). The Branch of the Lord (Isaiah 4:2) refers to Christ Himself as the Descendant of David in the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1).
1:13 vain oblations = sacrifices offered by hypocrites; 2:12 day of the Lord = the coming judgment upon the unfaithful as well as the time of rejoicing for the faithful; 3:18 cauls, and their round tires = headbands of sun jewels and moon ornaments; 3:22 crisping pins = probably refers to men's money purses; 3:24 stomacher = rich robe; 4:4 blood of Jerusalem = blood of innocent prophets slain by Israel.
BP Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Pray for the 2003 National Bible Reading Movement · the Arabic Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast for the month of August in memory of Mom Cook · the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · Government Officials: Rep. Rick Boucher (VA) and Rep. Sue Myrick (NC) · Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa · Major languages: French and Bambara · Religious freedom despite Muslim majority · 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray, through the Name of Jesus Christ, for it is by Him that we have access to God in prayer (Ephesians 2:18).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 9
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:24