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Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 7 - Isaiah 2 & 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Isaiah 2 and 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Isaiah talks about the "day of our Lord," which is when Jesus will come and will reign and judge the people of Judah. 
  • The people are also reminded not to be materialistic or to worship idols and how disappointing it is to God when they do so. In Exodus 20:3, God tells the Israelites that he led out of Egypt: "You shall have no other gods before me."
  • As we come to Isaiah 3 Jerusalem and Judah are really in the thick of it now. God is angry with them as they have spoken against him and turned their back against him.  God is declaring the details of his judgment on his people who have opted to live their lives as though God doesn't exist. 
  • The judgement upon those who have turned their back on God will be: loss of their security, loss of food and water, loss of a stable government, neighbors turning against neighbors, the bad they have done will come back on them, loss of the finer things that they enjoyed up to this point (i.e.: Jewels, and fine clothing), warriors falling in battle, and complete mourning and sadness. 
  • God, who led them out of Egypt, provided them food, safety, and shelter on their journey has been patient and forgiving, repeatedly, despite their behavior. However, his patience is wearing thin with these people who have blatantly turned their backs on him. He reminds them that there are consequences for their behavior. 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God wants to be the focus of our worship. Loving stuff and money more than God is something that makes him angry, as we see here in Isaiah. God said this previously, in Exodus 20:5, when he said: "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God..." 
  • God wants us to repent; to turn from our sins and change our ways. 
  • We are also reminded that like the people of Judah, we will all be judged. 
  • We also need to make sure we don't turn our backs on God. In this distracting world, it can be too easy to do so.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)                      
  • Do you love God more than money or possessions? If not... how can you go about making God the number one focus in your life? Could you be more giving? Donate to help the homeless or a charity that touches your heart? Or maybe it's starting to serve here at Verve? 
  • As you read this passage, can you see any similarities between yourself and the people of Judah and Jerusalem and their attitude toward God? If so....what are some ways you can make God first in your life? 
  • Have you turned your back on God in a friendship? In your finances? In an area of secret sin? 
  • What can you do today to turn back to God in that area? Maybe you need to confess something to a trusted friend, or start giving to God financially, or have a hard conversation with someone you have wronged. 
  • If you haven't done so, maybe start by telling God you are sorry if you haven't made time for him so far, or even just lately in your life. He is a forgiving God and he does forgive us when we come to him humbly and apologize.