Today we are reading Isaiah 16. In this chapter we continue reading about the demise of Moab. “Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. Like fleeing birds, like a scattered nest, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon. “Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; shelter the outcasts; do not reveal the fugitive; let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them from the destroyer. When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.”” Isaiah‬ ‭16:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The picture is one of utter destruction and despair as the people try to flee the invading army. In the midst of this terrible time God is telling His people to shelter the fugitive. It’s interesting that God’s people are in a position to offer assistance during a catastrophe. This is also true for our time. We are in a position to render assistance to those attempting to flee the coming destroyer. We have the Gospel that shelters us from the punishment our sins deserve. We have the promise of Heaven that guards us from despair. We have citizenship in the eternal paradise of God where nothing can ever harm us. Now, watch for the fugitives and give them Jesus! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 15. In this chapter we read about the destruction of Moab—the age-old enemy of Israel. “An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone. He has gone up to the temple, and to Dibon, to the high places to weep; over Nebo and over Medeba Moab wails. On every head is baldness; every beard is shorn; in the streets they wear sackcloth; on the housetops and in the squares everyone wails and melts in tears.” Isaiah‬ ‭15:1-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Hostilities between Israel and Moab go back to the time when the people of Israel were concluding their wandering in the wilderness. Occasionally, God would use Moab to inflict punishment on Israel in times of rebellion. Now God is planning to lay waste to Moab. Do you have a nemesis? Has God humbled you through somebody you found abrasive? What benefits did you receive from this humbling? Have you been able to process your feelings towards this person? God wants us to forgive even that person. Pray for the strength to forgive your personal Moab! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 14. In this chapter we read about the destruction of the enemies of Israel. “”How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” Isaiah‬ ‭14:12-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬ These verses are thought to refer to the defeat and casting out of the devil from Heaven. His sin was pride. He wanted to exalt himself higher than God. For this, he was defeated and thrown out of Heaven. How have you seen pride bring down a powerful person? How has your pride hindered your life? The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” May God give grace to you! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 13. In this chapter we read about God’s wrath and the destruction of all who do evil. “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.” Isaiah‬ ‭13:9-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬ When Jesus comes back these words will be fulfilled. While we look forward to the Day of the Lord, we also know it will be a terrible day for those who don’t believe. Who do you know that will suffer on that day? What can you do to prevent their suffering? May God give you the courage and the strength to share the message of salvation. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 12. In this chapter we read about the joy of our salvation! “You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.””
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭12:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ When is the last time that you were so overcome with happiness that you shouted with joy? The prophet Isaiah is describing what it is like to have a relationship with the Messiah (Jesus). If we could take anything from this passage it would be to remember “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid;” We can always be comforted by God no matter what we are going through. How does this verse speak to you right now? Who can you share this message with? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 11. In this chapter we read about the promises related to the coming of the Messiah. “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭11:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Have you ever seen green young shoots growing out of an old stump? In Israel the Olive Tree often displays this phenomenon. The general idea is that the new growth benefits from the root system of the old stump. This prophetic metaphor teaches that Jesus is the shoot coming from the root of Jesse. Who is Jesse? How does Jesus match the description we find of the Messiah? What aspect of this description is most intriguing to you? By grace through faith you have been added to this tree. How are you producing fruit? God bless you to be fruitful and multiply spiritually! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 10. In this chapter we read about the destruction of Israel followed by the destruction of the foreign invaders. “In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭10:20-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬ It is interesting that God uses pagan people to discipline His chosen people. After that, He will punish the pagans for destroying His people. In the end, a remnant will return. Only a small percentage of the people will return from slavery. Has God ever disciplined you for your sinful choices? How did you respond to God’s discipline? May you yield to God’s authority in all your life. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 9. In this chapter we read about the coming of the Messiah. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah‬ ‭9:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ This passage is very familiar and is often read at Christmas time. We recognize this as speaking about the birth of Jesus but very few people are familiar with the context. In the time of Isaiah (740 BC) foreign powers were being used by God to punish His people for their rebellion. The people suffered greatly but refused to repent. In the midst of their suffering, Isaiah gives us this prophecy about the coming Messiah. How are the people of our time similar to the people of Isaiah’s time? What spiritual advantage do we have over those people of 740 BC? May God bless you as you live your faith in a crooked generation. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 8. In this chapter we read about the coming Assyrian army that will come like a flood and inundate the land. “”Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.””
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭8:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God is punishing His people through the army of Assyria. He is allowing a foreign power to come in and overwhelm the land and all who dwell there. Today, the land of Israel is free from foreign domination. The threat of the ancient Assyrians has subsided but the memory of their cruelty is remembered. What lessons can we learn from this history? Who are the rebellious ones today? Who are the Assyrians that God might use to punish us? What is the point of God’s punishment? May God give us wisdom as we live our lives for Him! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 7. In this chapter we are reading about the chaos and devastation that comes from rebelling against God. “In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.” Isaiah‬ ‭7:23-25‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The land of Israel would go from prosperity to devastation as a result of their rebellion. It reminds me of the devastation of the Dirty Thirties or the dust-bowl era. Land where the prairie grasses stretched on forever became useless. The pain was felt by everyone in the region. Every family felt it. Every creature felt it. Our rebellion against God is similar. Everyone around us experiences the pain caused by our rebellion. The cure is simple—humble yourself and turn from your sin back to your Savior. May God bless you as experience the joy of your salvation! Pastor Tim