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Isaiah 51:1-53:12 ~ Ephesians 5:1-33
Psalm 69:19-36 ~ Proverbs 24:7
Old Testament - Isaiah chapter 53 is one of the most powerful chapters of the Bible - and one of the saddest to really meditate upon. Isaiah chapter 53 is all about Jesus! Powerful powerful chapter to read... I'm sure you likely caught that this chapter was about Jesus when you first read it, but if not, please re-read the chapter again and do you see how Isaiah is prophesying Jesus' passion and death? It is astounding to realize these words of Isaiah's were written in 8th century B.C. Verse 5 tells us- "But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!" Do you believe that the words of Isaiah's in chapter 53 today are about Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus was wounded and crushed for your sins? Was he beaten that you might have peace? Are you healed because Jesus was whipped and then murdered on a cross?
Verse 7: "He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth."
Verse 8: "From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins--that he was suffering their punishment?"
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Isaiah chapter 52 and 53 titled "The Triumph of the Suffering Servant" is at this link.
New Testament - Hmmm... for some reason Ephesians chapter 5 verse 17 really stood out to me today - "Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do." I am wondering how often each of acts thoughtlessly? I am afraid in my case it is far too often. I can sometimes sleep-walk through my day - or even days - or even weeks... and miss the point of life completely when doing so! Paul teaches us here to try to understand what the Lord wants us to do. Why would we want to try to understand this? I think in large part so we no longer act thoughtlessly! I'm afraid we are far too often a thoughtless people in how we live our lives & how we waste so much time in our very short lives this side of heaven... How about you? Are you acting thoughtlessly at all these days? Will you seek to understand what God wants you to do? And then will you go do it and leave your thoughtless ways behind?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Ephesians titled "The Meaning of Christian Marriage" is at this link.
Psalms - I love Psalm 69 verse 33 today - "For the LORD hears the cries of his needy ones; he does not despise his people who are oppressed." God hears the cries of his needy ones. Perhaps the question is then, do we hear the cries of God's needy ones? Do we hear the cries of those starving today? Sick from lack of clean water? Suffering from HIV / AIDS? Spiritually poor? Needing a friend? How is the soil of our hearts if we are not hearing these cries? Should we be hearing these cries? And if we do hear them, what then should we do? Remember Jesus' words in Matthew chapter 25 verses 34-36: "‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’"
Proverbs - Proverbs 24 verse 7 is actually a bit convicting for me - "Wisdom is too much for a fool." I'm not sure if you've ever experienced this, but there have been times when I honestly have not been able to read or digest the Bible. I mean, there are times when I can kind of work my way through reading the Bible, but nothing is sticking. And obviously the Bible is wisdom... I then wonder if at times I am a fool? I don't think I'm a chronic fool... :) But, truly, sometimes I do dumb stuff or live in a dumb season and in retrospect I was acting like a fool in those seasons. And in those foolish seasons wisdom was too much for me... I do ultimately think Jesus / God / the Bible / wisdom brought me out of those foolish seasons. But let us pray that we don't enter into seasons of life where we are acting a fool, and where wisdom is too much for us. Being a fool is no way to live this beautiful life God has called us to...
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!