Friday, November 03, 2006

Devotional Note for Isaiah 61-66

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.”

Text: Isaiah 61-66

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 61-66 highlight God as the Sovereign Lord (61:11), Savior (62:11), righteous and mighty Judge (63:1; 66:15-16), loving and merciful Shepherd (63:9), our Father (63:16; 64:8a), the Potter (64:8b), the transcendent and holy Creator (65:17,25; 66:1-2).

The message or point of the final six chapters of the book of Isaiah can be summarized by the word A.N.O.I.N.T.

61: The sovereign Lord (v.11) through His Spirit would anoint His Messianic Servant to bring the years of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of God (v.1-2). The ministry of this anointed Servant results in deliverance, restoration, reconciliation, riches, joy, and righteous world order.

62: The Savior God (v.11) would name Jerusalem and Zion a new name (v.2), they will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord, the Sought After, the City of No Longer Deserted (v.12); all nations and kings will see its glory and righteousness (vv.1-2,6,10-11).

63:1-6: The Onmipotent God (v.1) would bring the day of vengeance and the year of redemption.

63:7-64:12: God in His love and mercy (v.9) would redeem His people, lift them up and carry them all the days of old, even though they rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit (v.10), God is still their Father who cares for them (63:16; 64:8), their Redeemer (63:16), their Help (64:5), and their Potter (64:8) who would like to forgive them (64:9) and will make His own name known to all nations (64:2).

65: God notes those who did not ask for Him, did not seek Him and did not call on Him (v.1). God would reveal Himself to them, reward those who response and faithfully serve Him (vv.1,13-15); meantime punish those who commit idolatry (v.2-8). New heavens and new earth will come, there will be great joy, peace and harmony (vv.17-25).

66: Transcendent God (v.1-2) esteems those who are humble and contrite in spirit (v.2b) and judges the hypocrites (vv.3-6). He would send His ‘son’ (Christ Jesus) through the Israelites before the great tribulation to establish His Kingdom (vv.7-14). He would execute judgment upon all men (vv.15-17). He would gather all nations, tongues and mankind to see His glory (vv.18-21), to worship Him (vv.22-23), and to see the ending of the rebel in hell where worm will not die, nor will the fire be quenched (v.24).

Confession-for what I sin

64:7: “No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of You.” For not praying earnestly and seeking Your face, forgive me, O Lord.

66:3: For hypocrisy and abominations of any kind in my deeds, forgive me, O Lord.

Thanksgiving-for what God does

65:1: God actively seek and save the lost: “I reveal Myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, Here am I, here am I.”

65:13-16: God will reward the faithful and obedient servant: they will eat, drink, rejoice, sing, be given special name, and their troubles end.

65:17-25: God will bring new heavens and new earth where weeping and crying will end, perfect harmony being established.

Inspiring verse(s)-for what help it gives

66:2: “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

Obedience-for what it teaches or orders

66:18-21: Send me and the people called Methodists to magnify God’s glory among all the nations and tongues.

Now-action-for what I must do

1. Praise the gracious God that seeks and saves sinners (65:1), bow down and worship Him always (66:23), bow down to pray for all mankind to worship Him too (pray for a particular non-believer).
2. Pray for islands or nations in the world that have not heard of God’s fame and seen God’s glory (v.19).
3. Preach the bad news of hell and good news of heaven (65:17; 66:24) to at least a person a day, actively, intentionally by giving them a gospel tract or share verbally or inviting them to church or cell meeting or outing.
4. Purge hypocrisy within me, and remain humble and contrite in spirit before God (66:2-3).

Supplication-for strength and wisdom to do

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