The Promise

It couldn’t get any worse. Judah had just been defeated by Damascus followed by the Northern Kingdom of Israel. They’ve been raided by the Philistines and Edomites. They were led by Ahaz, one of the worst kings of Judah. “The Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had bought about a lack of restraint in Judah and was very unfaithful to the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 28:19)

Things could not get worse. These were bleak, frightful days. In this context, the Lord sent Isaiah (Isaiah 7). In this context the Lord also spoke to Isaiah about the future (Isa. 8-9).

In the midst of great darkness there is hope! Isaiah wrote, “The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them….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. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)

Our world has grown dark. Evil is all around. Things are bleak. But the Promise is for us today as it was for Judah in Ahaz’s day. Our hope is in the promise of our risen King who is coming again.

Take some time the thank the Lord for His coming, His redeeming you and giving you hope in His coming again as He promised.

Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus),

Come

Yesterday I finished reading through the the Bible in about a year. Every day I read a portion from each of the sections below:

Historical – Genesis through Esther

Wisdom – Job through Song of Solomon

Prophetic – Isaiah through Malachi

Gospels and Acts – Matthew through Acts

Epistles – Romans through Revelation

I did not have a plan as to how much to read in a day or to read the whole Bible in a year. I just read what seemed right in each portion each day. I underlined or circled verses, phrases or words that stood out to me. What I share in these brief devotionals, comes from these reflections.

Listening to the Lord through the different passages is a rich experience. Below is my last reflection from this year of reading in my current Bible (I start in a new, unmarked Bible tomorrow). I finished today in Revelation 22. Take a moment to read and reflect on this passage.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:12-21)

Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus),

He Knows

Ever wonder if someone could ever really understand you? Ever wonder if anyone could possibly know what you are thinking? There is Someone who knows.

Yesterday I spent some time in Psalm 139. The whole Psalm is worthy of much reflection. For today, I want to focus on the first 6 verses.

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.” (Psalm 139:1-6)

Take a moment to read and reflect on these few verses. What thoughts come to mind? How does this shape your understanding of the Lord? What emotions are you feeling as you read and reflect on these verses?

The Psalmist then closes the Psalm with a prayer. Make this your prayer today.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus),

Hear My Voice

Ever been in a period of angst or despair where there seemed to be no way out? The Psalmist had been there. Here is his reflection.

“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” (Psalm 130:1-8)

What comes to your mind when you read this? Are there circumstances in your life where you think, “this Psalm reflects what is going on in my life and heart?”

What do you observe about Who the Lord is? What do you observe about His character? His actions toward us?

Take a moment to thank the Lord for Who He is.

Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus),