Saturday, April 28, 2018

Isaiah 46 & 47

Today's reading in our daily plan is Isaiah 46 & 47. 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?)
  • God is reinforcing the idea from previous chapters that worshipping idols as opposed to worshipping Him is wrong.  An illustration is given where people are turning their gold and silver into idols to worship, but God quickly points out problems: the idol can’t talk back and can never save a person from their problems.
  • God denounces and separates himself from the false gods that Babylon made, Nebo and Bel, and all of the idols by saying that He is the only God and there is no other. God promises that His purpose will be carried out and salvation for the Israelites will not be delayed.
  • In chapter 47, God points out that He will correct the wickedness the Babylonians have committed against Him and against the Israelites. God has some choice words for them throughout the passage which mention a lot of destruction and calamity. If you were a Babylonian during this time, it would be wise to listen to God and turn away from all of the wickedness. (Spoiler alert: They don’t.)
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God is jealous and desires that we put our full trust in Him. He promises that He is so much greater and stronger than any other object or idol we might be tempted to worship. The term “idol” can apply to anything we put too much of our time, energy, and trust in over God.
  • It’s worth pointing out that in verse 13, God talks about His timing and that nothing will be delayed. This may seem ironic because the promised redemption didn’t actually happen for another 200 years. That’s a long time in a person’s eyes but God was still faithful with His promise and His timing is perfect.
  • Looking at it from a different perspective, God gave the Babylonians 200 years to repent and they never did. God is slow to anger but He is still just. In the end, the Babylonians time was up, and God swooped in to rescue the Israelites.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Does it not seem like God is meeting your deadlines or answering your prayers on time? Well the answer is that He’s probably not. God’s timing is different from our own. His timing may be much quicker than expected or may be a whole lot slower. He knows better than we do though and asks us to remain faithful and continually lean on Him.