As I read through Isaiah, I will be looking for evidence of God’s grace in each chapter. This is how we can keep a right view of God. We do not want to become overwhelmed by God's discipline of God’s rebellious people and the punishment of God’s enemies. Underneath the grim inventory of the sins of the people, and the sins of the nation, and the catalog of judgments that will roll down from heaven in response, is the undercurrent of God’s consistent care for God’s people, and for the whole earth.
How are we to read such a long and complex book? Is it really one book, written by one writer? Is it a compilation of lectures, sermons, oracles, and chronicles?
You and I are not responsible for the decisions of our leaders apart from whatever our civic duty requires of us (to vote, to speak up through letters and protests). But, we must live by whatever those decisions bring about. We will be swept along in the destiny of our nation, whatever that will be.
People are trying to figure out how to live in this messy world of increasing famine and water shortages, of diminishing resources, of rapidly changing political and diplomatic landscapes, and families, careers, politics, social injustice, the environment, the economy, it is all on the line.
But a true prophet speaks a message of truth, truth that does not bow to the pressure of politics or what people want to hear.
After delivering the astonishing declaration that the veil torn at the moment of Jesus’ death was nothing less than Christ’s body torn asunder, throwing open the gates of heaven to every person, the author offered five ways every Christian responds to the magnificent good news of the Gospel.
Because of John’s enormous impact, the Sanhedrin—Judea’s council of religious authorities—sent a delegation to investigate John and his unorthodox baptism activity.
He was born in the hamlet of Bethlehem, an inconsequential dot on the map, but it was the birthplace of Kings, the very root and stump of Jesse, and from it now sprang this young shoot, the ruler who would sit on the throne of Judah forever.