Isaiah

April 27, 2021

Portraits of God

Journal

Bible Passage: Isaiah 57:14-21

14 And it shall be said,

   “Build up, build up, prepare the way,

    remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”

15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,

    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

    “I dwell in the high and holy place,

    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,

    to revive the spirit of the lowly,

    and to revive the heart of the contrite.

16 For I will not contend forever,

    nor will I always be angry;

    for the spirit would grow faint before me,

    and the breath of life that I made.

17 Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,

    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,

    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.

18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;

    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,

19     creating the fruit of the lips.

    Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord,

    “and I will heal him.

20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea;

    for it cannot be quiet,

    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Questions to help us go deeper

Reflect on the portrait of God depicted in these passages.

  • What is He like?
  • Reflect on the ways you have experienced this aspect of God.
  • Are there ways that your current view of God needs to be corrected or refined through today’s passage?
  • Praise God for who He is.

Prayer

 

April 22, 2021

Portraits of God

Journal

Bible Passage: Isaiah 43

1 But now thus says the Lord,

  he who created you, O Jacob,

    he who formed you, O Israel:

  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

    I have called you by name, you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

  when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

    and the flame shall not consume you.

3 For I am the Lord your God,

    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

  I give Egypt as your ransom,

    Cush and Seba in exchange for you.

4 Because you are precious in my eyes,

    and honored, and I love you,

  I give men in return for you,

    peoples in exchange for your life.

5 Fear not, for I am with you;

    I will bring your offspring from the east,

    and from the west I will gather you.

6 I will say to the north, Give up,

    and to the south, Do not withhold;

  bring my sons from afar

    and my daughters from the end of the earth,

7 everyone who is called by my name,

    whom I created for my glory,

    whom I formed and made.”

8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,

    who are deaf, yet have ears!

9 All the nations gather together,

    and the peoples assemble.

  Who among them can declare this,

    and show us the former things?

  Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,

    and let them hear and say, It is true.

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,

    “and my servant whom I have chosen,

  that you may know and believe me

    and understand that I am he.

  Before me no god was formed,

    nor shall there be any after me.

11 I, I am the Lord,

    and besides me there is no savior.

12 I declared and saved and proclaimed,

    when there was no strange god among you;

    and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am

    God.

13 Also henceforth I am he;

    there is none who can deliver from my hand;

    I work, and who can turn it back?”

14 Thus says the Lord,

    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

   “For your sake I send to Babylon

    and bring them all down as fugitives,

    even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.

15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,

    the Creator of Israel, your King.”

16 Thus says the Lord,

    who makes a way in the sea,

    a path in the mighty waters,

17 who brings forth chariot and horse,

    army and warrior;

   they lie down, they cannot rise,

    they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:

18 “Remember not the former things,

    nor consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;

    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

   I will make a way in the wilderness

    and rivers in the desert.

20 The wild beasts will honor me,

    the jackals and the ostriches,

    for I give water in the wilderness,

    rivers in the desert,

    to give drink to my chosen people,

21     the people whom I formed for myself

    that they might declare my praise.

22 “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;

    but you have been weary of me, O Israel!

23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,

    or honored me with your sacrifices.

   I have not burdened you with offerings,

    or wearied you with frankincense.

24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money,

    or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.

   But you have burdened me with your sins;

    you have wearied me with your iniquities.

25 “I, I am he

    who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,

    and I will not remember your sins.

26 Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;

    set forth your case, that you may be proved right.

27 Your first father sinned,

    and your mediators transgressed against me.

28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,

    and deliver Jacob to utter destruction

    and Israel to reviling.

Questions to help us go deeper

Reflect on the portrait of God depicted in these passages.

  • What is He like?
  • Reflect on the ways you have experienced this aspect of God.
  • Are there ways that your current view of God needs to be corrected or refined through today’s passage?
  • Praise God for who He is.

Prayer

 

April 21, 2021

Portraits of God

Journal

Bible Passage: Isaiah 40

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

    and cry to her

  that her warfare is ended,

    that her iniquity is pardoned,

  that she has received from the Lord’s hand

    double for all her sins.

3 A voice cries:

  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,

    and every mountain and hill be made low;

  the uneven ground shall become level,

    and the rough places a plain.

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

    and all flesh shall see it together,

    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

6 A voice says, “Cry!”

    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

  All flesh is grass,

    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

7 The grass withers, the flower fades

    when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

    surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers, the flower fades,

    but the word of our God will stand forever.

9 Go on up to a high mountain,

    O Zion, herald of good news;

  lift up your voice with strength,

    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;

    lift it up, fear not;

  say to the cities of Judah,

    “Behold your God!”

10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,

    and his arm rules for him;

    behold, his reward is with him,

    and his recompense before him.

11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;

    he will gather the lambs in his arms;

   he will carry them in his bosom,

    and gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

    and marked off the heavens with a span,

   enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure

    and weighed the mountains in scales

    and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,

    or what man shows him his counsel?

14 Whom did he consult,

    and who made him understand?

   Who taught him the path of justice,

    and taught him knowledge,

    and showed him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

    and are accounted as the dust on the scales;

    behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,

    nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are as nothing before him,

    they are accounted by him as less than nothing and   

    emptiness.

18 To whom then will you liken God,

    or what likeness compare with him?

19 An idol! A craftsman casts it,

    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold

    and casts for it silver chains.

20 He who is too impoverished for an offering

    chooses wood that will not rot;

    he seeks out a skillful craftsman

    to set up an idol that will not move.

21 Do you not know? Do you not hear?

    Has it not been told you from the beginning?

    Have you not understood from the foundations of the   

    earth?

22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

    who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

23 who brings princes to nothing,

    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,

    scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,

    when he blows on them, and they wither,

    and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25 To whom then will you compare me,

    that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:

    who created these?

   He who brings out their host by number,

    calling them all by name;

   by the greatness of his might

    and because he is strong in power,

    not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,

    and speak, O Israel,

   “My way is hidden from the Lord,

    and my right is disregarded by my God”?

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?

   The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

   He does not faint or grow weary;

    his understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the faint,

    and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,

    and young men shall fall exhausted;

31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

   they shall run and not be weary;

    they shall walk and not faint.

Questions to help us go deeper

Reflect on the portrait of God depicted in these passages.

  • What is He like?
  • Reflect on the ways you have experienced this aspect of God.
  • Are there ways that your current view of God needs to be corrected or refined through today’s passage?
  • Praise God for who He is.

Prayer

 

April 19, 2021

Portraits of God

Journal

Bible Passage: Isaiah 1:1-18

1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;

    for the Lord has spoken:

  “Children have I reared and brought up,

    but they have rebelled against me.

3 The ox knows its owner,

    and the donkey its master’s crib,

  but Israel does not know,

    my people do not understand.”

4 Ah, sinful nation,

    a people laden with iniquity,

  offspring of evildoers,

    children who deal corruptly!

  They have forsaken the Lord,

    they have despised the Holy One of Israel,

    they are utterly estranged.

5 Why will you still be struck down?

    Why will you continue to rebel?

  The whole head is sick,

    and the whole heart faint.

6 From the sole of the foot even to the head,

    there is no soundness in it,

  but bruises and sores

    and raw wounds;

  they are not pressed out or bound up

    or softened with oil.

7 Your country lies desolate;

    your cities are burned with fire;

  in your very presence

    foreigners devour your land;

    it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.

8 And the daughter of Zion is left

    like a booth in a vineyard,

  like a lodge in a cucumber field,

    like a besieged city.

9 If the Lord of hosts

    had not left us a few survivors,

  we should have been like Sodom,

    and become like Gomorrah.

10 Hear the word of the Lord,

    you rulers of Sodom!

   Give ear to the teaching of our God,

    you people of Gomorrah!

11 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?

    says the Lord;

    I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams

    and the fat of well-fed beasts;

    I do not delight in the blood of bulls,

    or of lambs, or of goats.

12 “When you come to appear before me,

    who has required of you

    this trampling of my courts?

13 Bring no more vain offerings;

    incense is an abomination to me.

      New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—

    I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.

14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts

    my soul hates;

   they have become a burden to me;

    I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands,

    I will hide my eyes from you;

   even though you make many prayers,

    I will not listen;

    your hands are full of blood.

16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;

    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;

   cease to do evil,

17     learn to do good;

   seek justice,

    correct oppression;

   bring justice to the fatherless,

    plead the widow’s cause.

18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:

   though your sins are like scarlet,

    they shall be as white as snow;

   though they are red like crimson,

    they shall become like wool.

Questions to help us go deeper

Reflect on the portrait of God depicted in these passages.

  • What is He like?
  • Reflect on the ways you have experienced this aspect of God.
  • Are there ways that your current view of God needs to be corrected or refined through today’s passage?
  • Praise God for who He is.

Prayer

 

January 12, 2021

Cultivate DT | Day 8

INTRODUCTION

Part 2) Behold: Knowing God | Knowing God leads to rightly relating with Him

Journal

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation, or event.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.

 Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

Bible Text: Isaiah 40

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

    and cry to her

    that her warfare is ended,

    that her iniquity is pardoned,

    that she has received from the Lord’s hand

    double for all her sins.

3 A voice cries:

  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,

    and every mountain and hill be made low;

  the uneven ground shall become level,

    and the rough places a plain.

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

    and all flesh shall see it together,

    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

6 A voice says, “Cry!”

    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

  All flesh is grass,

    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

7 The grass withers, the flower fades

    when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

    surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers, the flower fades,

    but the word of our God will stand forever.

9 Go on up to a high mountain,

    O Zion, herald of good news;

  lift up your voice with strength,

    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;

    lift it up, fear not;

  say to the cities of Judah,

    “Behold your God!”

10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,

    and his arm rules for him;

   behold, his reward is with him,

    and his recompense before him.

11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;

    he will gather the lambs in his arms;

   he will carry them in his bosom,

    and gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

    and marked off the heavens with a span,

    enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure

    and weighed the mountains in scales

    and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,

    or what man shows him his counsel?

14 Whom did he consult,

    and who made him understand?

   Who taught him the path of justice,

    and taught him knowledge,

    and showed him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

    and are accounted as the dust on the scales;

    behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,

    nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are as nothing before him,

   they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18 To whom then will you liken God,

    or what likeness compare with him?

19 An idol! A craftsman casts it,

    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold

    and casts for it silver chains.

20 He who is too impoverished for an offering

    chooses wood that will not rot;

    he seeks out a skillful craftsman

    to set up an idol that will not move.

21 Do you not know? Do you not hear?

    Has it not been told you from the beginning?

    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

    who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

23 who brings princes to nothing,

    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,

    scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,

    when he blows on them, and they wither,

    and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25 To whom then will you compare me,

    that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:

    who created these?

   He who brings out their host by number,

    calling them all by name;

   by the greatness of his might

    and because he is strong in power,

    not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,

    and speak, O Israel,

    “My way is hidden from the Lord,

    and my right is disregarded by my God”?

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?

   The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

   He does not faint or grow weary;

    his understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the faint,

    and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,

    and young men shall fall exhausted;

31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

   they shall run and not be weary;

   they shall walk and not faint.

Questions

  1. What does this passage reveal about God’s majesty?
  2. Even though God is so majestic, He does not disregard us (vv.11, 27). How does this challenge my view of God?
  3. Why is idolatry (vv.18-20) so foolish in light of who God is?

Please take some time to commit some of the verses from this chapter to memory.

Prayer

 

January 8, 2021

Cultivate DT | Day 6

INTRODUCTION

Part 2) Behold: Knowing God | Knowing God leads to rightly relating with Him

Journal

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation, or event.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.

 Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

Bible Text: Isaiah 6:1-8

1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”

4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

Context & Commentary

v.3 “‘Holy, holy, holy’ – The threefold repetition intensifies the superlative (cf. Rev. 4:8). Holiness implies absolute moral purity and separateness above the creation.”ESV Study Bible Commentary

Questions

  1. Describe how Isaiah must have felt as he encountered the holiness of God. What thoughts and feelings do I have when I think about God’s holiness?
  2. Reflect on how Isaiah sees himself against the backdrop of God’s holiness. Take some time to honestly assess myself before the holy God.
  3. How have I experienced my guilt being taken away, and my sin atoned for?

Prayer

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