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Isaiah 48:12-50:11

Today’s passage includes the third and final verse that spoke to me mightily when I first read through the Bible. Verses 14 through 16 spoke to me through the pain of abandonment. Although a lot of years had past since my childhood the feelings that being abandon caused still lay beneath the surface and caused me to create very superficial relationships. As suicidal thoughts raced through my head and all the destructive behaviors stemming from the mindset of those desperate thoughts,I came upon this passage and collapsed in a torrent of tears knowing that God loved me even when I didn’t love myself, even though I doubted my family loved me or even wanted me.

I love the way these three verses read in the Amplified or the King James Version:

But Zion [Jerusalem, her people as seen in captivity] said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [And the Lord answered] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:14-16 AMP)

I can’t say that rational thought took over when I read this but there was a warm burning deep within my very core that let me know that God was speaking these words directly to me.

This passage, Psalm 27:4 and Galatians 3:28 began a process of setting me free and renewing my mind but also propelled me to read God’s Word for myself. I now know from my experiences with these three passages that God will send His Holy Spirit to not only speak to me through His Word but bring understanding in due season.

Ephesians 4:17-32

We must be active in putting away our sin and worldy behavior. Yes we pray for strength and empowerment through the Holy Spirit but essentially we must put away the behavior that is of the world.

A lot of times we try to lay there charges that Paul writes about on unbelievers. We demand in subtle ways that they clean up their act, but they can’t because they are sinners and are only doing what sinners do. Paul’s letters, this letter was written to Christians. It is Christians that Paul is telling to stop stealing; it is believers Paul is telling to stop cursing and using coarse language. Believers are being admonished to put away bitterness, rage, anger harsh words, slander and malicious behavior.

Paul tells us to put these things away, which must mean we have to ability to do what he is asking. We cannot use the excuse, “I just can’t help myself,” or pass the buck and thus the responsibility and consequence of bad behavior by saying, “He/She/They made me do it.”

Psalm 69:1-18

When I read this Psalm, I could not help but think about all the people caught in the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami. Although many died in South East Asia and some died in the Gulf Coast, many had their cries attended to by God and found themselves plucked from the mire and the floodwaters up to their neck.

Proverbs 24:5-6

5 wise man is mightier than a strong man, and a man of knowledge is more powerful than a strong man. 6 So don't go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many counselors.

Nothing is every secured by brute force. The history of Israel fighting against her enemies attests to that. To be wise one must have wisdom, and perfect wisdom is the Wisdom of God. Nothing can defeat God’s Wisdom and that Wisdom is Jesus Christ.

Do you think Psalm 69 might actually have been Jesus’ prayer while on Earth? I really felt this way reading the passage and I looked up my own notes and saw I had felt this way last time we read it and I hadn't remembered that when I stated reading today.

Even verse 5 where it mentions "my sins" I think that could be explained / understood in at least two different ways. The first could be understood that Jesus had no sin to hide, that is, it is not as if He has a secret sin that is hidden from the Lord because He never sinned, thus his sins are not as if they are hidden from God. It would be interesting to understand deeper how it is written in the original language to explore this possibility further.

The second understanding could be the fact that Jesus while without sin did in fact take on our sins and if He prayed this (in part or in whole) while He was on the cross, He was in deed bearing our sins at that time, which is truly the most amazing and unfathomable thing that He suffered for us. I suppose we will never fully know what that meant for Him to do that, how painful spiritually, how much He had to suffer without ever committing wrong.

Parts of the Psalm are especially clear, such as "Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it." Even if this Psalm is not directly Jesus' personal prayer I still think that in a way it is a picture or shadow of what He went through.

Praise Jesus!

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