Saturday, October 28, 2006

Devotional Note for Isaiah 41-47

DAILY DEVOTION
Psalm 73:28: “It is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.”

Mark 1:35: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”

Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Date: 27th November 2006 (Friday)
Text: Isaiah 41-47

Discovery through A.C.T.I.O.N.S. (Psalm 119:18-Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your Law)

Adoration-for who God is

Isaiah chapter 41-47 highlight to us that God of Israel is the Lord of history and the Only God. Chapter 40 is the turning point of the entire book, which highlights the coming of the victorious God (vv.1-26) and the unfailing strength God wants to give to the weary exiles (vv.27-31). Chapter 41-47 therefore highlight the great H.A.R.V.E.S.T. thereafter!

Chapter 41: God would help (v.10,13,14) His servant (the Israelites) through Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, who acted as a deliverer from Babylon (conquered Babylon in 539 B.C.) and issued the decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-5)

Chapter 42: God would anoint His servant (the coming Messiah or Christ) through the Spirit (v.1), so that the Anointed One may deliver the whole world from the prison of sin (v.7), bringing healing, deliverance, transformation and righteous world order.

Chapter 43: God would revive the Israelites who were spiritually blind and deaf, forgiving their sin and regathering them to be His witnesses (v.10,12).

Chapter 44: God valued Israel as His chosen servant (v.1,21) and would rid them of idolatry.

Chapter 45: God engaged Cyrus, the foreign emperor, king of Persia in the salvation of Israelites---anointing him, summoning him by name, making things right through him (v.1,3,4,8). God will deliver His people. Peace and justice will prevail!

Chapter 46: God would sustain (vv.3-4) the Israelites during their exile and would fulfill His purposes and plans regarding Babylon and Israel (vv.10-11).

Chapter 47: God would take vengeance on wicked Babylon which practiced many sorceries and magic spells (v.3,9,12,13).

41:2-4: God is the sovereign King of kings.

41:8,16; 46:9: God is the source of all joy and glory! He is the Only, One, True and Living God.

42:11,15: I am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I am the Lord, Your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.

42:25; 43:28: God does punish sins and discipline His people.

44:6: This is what the Lord says---Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”

44:26-45:7; 46:10-11: God is the Lord of history. He formed Israel “in the womb”, foils the signs of false prophets, carries out the words of the true prophets, restores His people, and even used a pagan emperor (Cyrus 559-530 B.C.) to fulfill His sovereign plans, even though this king of Persia did not acknowledge God.

45:15: “Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God and Savior of Israel.” God’s plans and actions are a mystery to man. But He had revealed His sovereign plans and will through Jesus Christ His Only Son (John 17:13-15, John 1:18, Ephesians 3:2-20---the MYSTERY OF CHRIST). Therefore, we can pray the Lord’s Prayer with deep conviction: “Your will be done!”

45:19: God speaks the truth and declare what is right.

45:21-22: God is righteous God and the only Savior. “Before me every knee shall bow, by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.’”

Confession-for what I sin

41:21-24,29; 42:17; 44:9,10,17,18; 45:16: For idolatry committed by myself and nations around me, forgive me, O Lord (Colossians 3:5---Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry)
42:18-20: For spiritually be blind and deaf to God, seeing many things but do not pay attention, ears are open but hear nothing, forgive me, O Lord.
42:25: For do not taking God’s discipline to heart and not living a renewed life, forgive me, o Lord!

43:22-24: For not calling upon God, not wearying myself for God, not bringing offerings to God, not honoring God with my sacrifices, but burdening God with my sins, wearying God with my offenses, forgive me, O Lord!

Thanksgiving-for what God does

41:8-10: God is Abraham’s friend, my friend too! God is near, I should not fear or be dismayed, for I know who is my God. He will strength and help me, uphold me with His righteous right hand. John 17:13-15: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friend if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

41:13-14: God takes hold of my right hand and says to me, “Do not fear, I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Thomas, O little Thomas, for I myself will help you, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

41:15: God is the Maker and the Potter of my life. I follow Jesus, He makes me fisher of men. “I will make you into a threshing sledge…”

41:17-18,20: God of Israel will not forsake the poor and needy. God answers their prayer. God’s hand would help them.

42:1-12,16: The coming Messiah (The Anointed One of God/CHRIST shall act as the greatest High Priest that dies for mankind’s sin Hebrews 4:14-16,9:28, as the greatest prophet that makes known the Father God to mankind John 1:18, as the greatest King of kings that shall conquer death and sin Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:4-8) shall be anointed by the mighty Spirit of God to bring justice, to bring light to the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. He is a “mighty man”, triumphing over the enemies (v.13).

43:25; 44:21-22: God blots out my transgressions for His own sake, and remembers my sins no more. God sweeps away my offenses like a cloud, my sins like a morning mist! God calls me to return.

44:3: God will pour out His Spirit on Israel’s offspring (all who are justified by faith in the name of Jesus the Messiah), and His blessings on our descendants.

46:3-4: God will take care of us through every day, over all the ways.

Inspiring verse(s)-for what help it gives

43:2-3a: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flame will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

42:14; 43:5: “Do not fear, I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Thomas, O little Thomas, for I myself will help you, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!...I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Obedience-for what it teaches or orders

41:2: God calls me in righteousness to His service.
41:27: Be a messenger of good tidings.
42:21: Please God by making His Law great and glorious.
42:10-12; 44:8: I am God’s witness.
46:3-4: All the days of my life, walk closely with God.

Now-action-for what I must do

1. Seek help from God and don’t be afraid.

2. Seek anointing from the Holy Spirit that I may minister to people and fulfill God’s plans for my life as Jesus did (Luke 4:16-19; Isaiah 42:2-7,16)

3. Seek and save the lost---the idols’ worshippers who have not known the two bad news (Romans 3:23,6:23) and two good news (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9). Share Christ’s Gospel with them. Spur Christians to overcome idolatry within our spirits, minds and bodies---the earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, so that Christians may be strong witnesses for the One, True, Living & Holy God.

Supplication-for strength and wisdom to do

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