Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 12: Friday
Friday’s Bible reading of Isaiah 62–66, is the last group of chapters in Isaiah. This has been a rapid reading through this wonderful book of prophecy, and I regret that there has not been more time to slowly dwell here. However, I hope that reading through it helps give you an overview of Isaiah and a beginning familiarity with some of the many Messianic prophecies it contains.
When we lived in New Jersey, the women in our church studied Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians in the New Testament. On the title page of our study notebook, our pastor’s wife put these verses from the last chapter in Isaiah:
Thus says the LORD,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?
For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit,
and who trembles at My word.”
The contrast in these verses is vivid. The Lord is a God of might and power, the Ruler and Creator of all things—yet who does He regard and consider?—the one who is humble and contrite of spirit, who trembles at His word. The Hebrew word for spirit in verse 2 is rûah, and the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states:
“The noun, rûah, further, depicts disposition of mind or attitude.”1
These words in Isaiah have stayed with me, as I consider my thinking and attitude towards the Word of God. I think of them and I remember, this is who I am to be—humble and contrite. This is how I am to regard His Word—with trembling, with awe.
We have in the Bible the very words of God. He has revealed to us His mind and His heart in order to bring us to Him, to know Him and love Him, to understand ourselves and to understand how He wants us to live. What is your attitude to God’s Word? Do you tremble at it? Are you in awe of it? Do you read it and meditate on it, in order to be careful to do it, as God commanded Joshua?
How do we keep His Word before us to do it? How do we have it with us and not forget it when we turn from quiet moments with God reading the Bible and then are plunged into the whirlwind of life?
One way of keeping His Word with you is to hide it in your heart!—through memorizing Scripture. No, it’s not just for kids! My dear friend, Lisa, by her example and encouragement led me back to memorizing the Bible. She has had numerous tragic circumstances in her life, the worst of which was the suicide of her son. Her anger at God was immense. That first Mother’s Day was horrible, but on that day she finally decided she didn’t want to sin against God anymore, and she remembered the words of Psalm 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (KJV) She decided to start memorizing Psalms. She began with Psalm 27 and went on to Psalm 13—and she kept on going, until she has now memorized dozens of psalms. Her beloved psalms have been her comfort and her joy and God has used them to restore her. Do you think she trembles at His Word?
The concentration and time spent thinking over the words in memorization, God can powerfully use to write His Word on your heart and light the fire of His truth into your life. If there are areas in your life that are very difficult or impossible to overcome, spend time alone with God in prayer and in time of Scripture memory going over portions of His Word that directly address those situations, and ask God to powerfully rewrite your heart according to His ways. His Word can erase what seems indelible, and write God’s truth deep into your heart.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk
in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
The New American Standard translates the word hid in Psalm 119:11, as treasured, and the word “means to conceal something for a definite purpose…for protection” and “also connotes storing or treasuring things on account of their value.”2 Treasure His Word— Tremble at His Word. The Living God, the Creator of the Universe, will look to all who are humble, contrite, and who tremble at His Word.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1, 2R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, eds., Theological Wordbook of the Old
Testament, 1980, vol. 2, pp. 836, 774.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter