Saturday, June 23, 2018

Isaiah 64

Today's reading in our daily plan is Isaiah 64. 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?)
  • The first half of this chapter begins with a prayer for God to appear in His mighty power once again. The Israelites had experienced God’s presence at a place called Mount Sinai (see Exodus 19:16-19) with the intensity of nature through a thunderstorm, smoke, and an earthquake.
  • In the second half, we are reminded that works (“our righteous acts”) do not make us clean. Sin makes us unclean as though we are dressed in filthy rags.
  • This passage ends with acknowledgement that God, in His judgement of our sins, may destroy us just as the potter may destroy the pot he has made. God’s holy lands and cities of Zion, Jerusalem, and the temple are already deserted and destroyed. And a final request, seeking to know if God will refuse to come to their aid.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God’s appearance is so intense that it is like a consuming fire that burns everything in its path. The only way we can be saved is by God’s mercy.
  • This passage reminds us that God will not accept us based on our good actions and behaviors. Sin makes us unclean so that we cannot approach God. Our only hope is faith in Jesus Christ who can cleanse us and bring us into God’s presence.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you feel weighed down by the thoughts and actions that bring destruction into your own life? Are you constantly trying to balance the scale by “doing good” in an attempt to earn God’s grace? Only Jesus can carry us into closer relationship with God who created you and who wants to be in relationship with you.
  • Today, what if you picked one habit you need to change, and intentionally asked God throughout the day to help you overcome it? On our own, we can’t overcome temptation. But God gives us the power to overtake our hurts and hang-ups.