After we began this journey through the Bible in 2016, it was pointed out to me that the M’Cheyne reading plan we’ve been following actually has us read through the New Testament and Psalms twice. Somehow I missed that detail until after I had published the reading list, but at least I’m telling you about it now. And, as of Sunday, we have finished the New Testament. So, if you’ve kept up with the daily readings, you have the option of skipping all the New Testament readings and you can skip the Psalms, too, once we finish all of them on July 13. I will continue to publish all 4 readings here, in case you want to read through the NT and Psalms again or if you missed some and want to make sure you complete the whole Bible this year. But my devotionals will only be on the Old Testament passages that we have not yet read this year. So, if you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 27:1–28:19, Psalm 119:1–24, Isaiah 54. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 54.
Yesterday we read Isaiah’s important and beautiful prophecy about Christ. At the end of that chapter, God declared that Christ would receive “a portion with the great… because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa 53:12). In today’s chapter from Isaiah 54, the results of Christ’s death are described. Verse 1 tells us that the emotional response from Israel will be joy. That joy is described further in verses 2-3 because the nation will grow and expand her territory. Verse 4 offers comfort to Israel, telling her not to be afraid of shame or disgrace; both “the same of your youth” and “the reproach of your widowhood” will be forgotten. Verses 5-8 explain why. First, God promises to be Israel’s “husband” and “redeemer.” Although God separated from Israel, in a sense, during their time in captivity (v. 7a), he “will call you back as if you were a wife deserted…” (v. 6a). Verse 8b explains, “‘In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer.” Although this prophecy is for Israel and is still future to us in the Millennium, God is the devoted, compassionate God to all his people that he told Israel he was in this passage. While we sin and fail God constantly, he is compassionate and forgiving toward us in Christ. So don’t let sin keep you from the love and fellowship God wants to give you; when you sin, turn to him in repentance and claim the promises he made in this passage and others like it to find forgiveness in him.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.