Todays readings.. Deuteronomy 12, Isaiah 1, Acts 27
Today we start reading the remarkable prophecy of Isaiah; what a challenging life he had in serving the LORD! He brought messages from God to the people through the reigns of 4 kings which are named in the first verse. But he was also privileged to receive and record God’s word concerning “the latter days” as we will read tomorrow – and, above all, the astonishingly detailed vision of the sufferings, death and resurrection of the Messiah in his 53rd chapter, which, until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, sceptics declared must have been added later.
This is a book that inspires in us greater and greater faith – if we are willing to apply our minds to the many aspects of its messages.
As we read the first chapter we could not help but think how much it was also a message for today as it was for the spiritually decadent people to whom Isaiah was conveying God’s message. “Ah sinful nation,” writes Isaiah, “a people laden with iniquity … who deal corruptly. They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One …” [v.4]
He challenges them. “Hear the word of the LORD you rulers of Sodom … of Gomorrah” [v.10]. Their religious practices were but a show and a sham and on a level with those evil cities; “Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me … I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly … your appointed feasts my soul hates” [v.13,14] They were hated by God because the spirit in their hearts was all wrong. What a message to have to give to the people!
Then the theme changed, “Learn to do good … come now, let us reason together says the LORD; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow … if you are willing and obedient” [v.18,19]. It is the same message today – but how few are willing and obedient? Make sure you are.
Romans 10:18 “their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world”
Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
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